Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Poems by Duane Locke


Perhaps, we should appropriate a Deleuzian ontology
And replace essential traits, essences, with a morphogenic processes,
But during this segment of temporarily, I am more concerned
With something else. I am standing on black moist mud
That borders a large water varied brown puddle
And my attention is focused upon
A local manifestation. This occasion is an action in a location
Between two cypress knees near the spread-out bottom
Of a cypress with pink and green lichen. What I am observing
Is a mobility, and currently it is swimming away from me.
The motion is swirls and small silver wakes in the water.
I struggle to avoid a conceptual modification of the occurrence.
I try to subdue what has been imposed upon my corporeality by
Folklore, scientific biological accounts, and the myth of
The Garden of Eden. I must exorcise so much if I am to
See and interpret the distinct singularity of
These two snakes swimming away from me.
I think these two beings are designated in man-made parlance
By the name of Eastern Mud Snakes. Names are unimportant,
What matters is being able to overcome one’s past learning
And experience the the swirls of these two snakes swimming
Side by side as they swim away from me to disappear.
But names can be a mnemonic aid when I need to recall
The beauty of their faces, a beauty
With a power to transform one from a cipher, a slave mentality,
Into an authentic human being.


On the earth, an acorn pile, each acorn
Touching with its curves the curves of another acorn,
Each acorn streaked with a white variation on an “S”,
The reflection of an existence very far away, the sun.
I pick up an acorn. Feel the share point at the end
Denting my thumb, and the slickness against my fingertip.
Its tops is rugged, and is shaped like a cap oriental warriors
Wear in B movies. Does an acorn have oak-qualities,
Or acorn-qualities?-- a verbal game that philosopher play.
What is the mathematical interpretation of its chemical content?
When looking at the wonder of an acorn, all these learned
Pastimes seem like nonsense, useless. What is real
Is the generative power of the acorn’s shape that when
Intensely observed excites and transforms my life.
How the dark brown unique color below and the color
Of beige above enhances, enchants, transports.
Observing an acorn transfigures time, changes
The elusive short-lived presence into a time
That is a present, a past, a future at the same time,
And cannot be measured by clocks or man’s mind.


Unambiguous linguistic representations can be metaphorically
Expressed as being sawdust from a chain saw ripping down a young
Cypress tree to have its bark stripped off and turned into a fence post,
As fences make good neighbors. Technological enframing of
Amorphous human minds has produced
The dehumanized person who is capable of being excited
By sawdust and lumber, but is incapable of being excited
By a living tree unless the tree become a fiction, falsified by such
as Joyce Kilmer.
Sawdust and lumber are apotheosized and a living tree
Is relegated to the being a resource. Trees are tolerated because
Their leafage provides shade, not for their mystical transformative power.
Trees, if intensely observed as obscurities, ambiguities, concealments
And if the observer can exorcise
The technological attitudes spoken by the public into his corporeality, trees
Can contribute to the humanization
Of a population now dehumanized into robots and artificial intelligences.

Duane Locke lives in Tampa, Florida near anhinga, gallinules, raccoons, alligators, etc.  He has published 6,701 poems, includes 29 books of poems. His latest book publication, April 2012, Is DUANE LOCKE, THE FIRST DECADE, 1968-1978, BITTER OLEANDER PRESS. This book is a republication Of his first eleven books, contains 333 pages. Order from, Or Amazon.

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