Locklin: The Final Word

Over the past week I have received numerous emails from former students of Gerry’s, admirers, and one attention seeker.  I forgot his name but we know there is always one in the bunch.  I will just say Locklin’s  body of work speaks for itself.
I sit here surrounded by a half dozen of his poetry books again trying to decide on one to review for this series. I can’t pick a favorite but the one published by RD at Lummox, Modest Aspirations is certainly one to grab. Besides Locklin’s poetry, you get well written short stories (not flash) by Beth Wilson.  They compliment Locklin’s every day, everyman style. You will not stop until read them all.  It is Locklin that is the draw, but Wilson is the bonus.  You really get two books for one money.
As someone who tries to put one word in front of the other, I am always drawn to poems that leave me with the feeling—I wish I had said that. Locklin’s work does just that.  In Modest Aspirations, Locklin gives excellent advice to poets in this poem:


It is better to be a rich kid in Beverly Hills
Writing out of the abandoned heart
Of a rich kid in Beverly Hills, than a poor kid
In Watts or Ireland trying to write out
Of the monstrously humiliated heart of
Charles Bukowski, at the age of 25, serving as
A “Go-Fer” in exchange for free drinks
In the boring and embattled bars of Philly.
And the closest thing to Another Bukowski
That I’ve come across in my recent reading
May well be his erstwhile mistress
and mother of his only child,
Frances (FrancEyE) Smith,
Who led the Counter-Life of his own,
And who subjects, sympathies, and eccentricities
He could not embrace,
But who shared the plainspoken candidness
That characterized his own work at its best,
And who, like him, has lived to her final pallet
The life of the poet.
The Elizabethan sonneteer, Michael Drayton,
Instructed himself and us
To look in our hearts and write.
He said to look in ours.
Not his or Charles Bukowski’s

____© Gerald Locklin__________________

For Henry Denander

I just read your poems
in Nerve Cowboy, 21, Spring 2006,
and noticed that you are now writing
better poems than most of the poems
that I am writing.

It’s a good thing
because not too many are,

although a lot are writing poems
just as good as mine,

but, shit, even I can do that.
___________© Gerald Locklin_____

Both of these books are well worth your hard earned money. If you follow this site you know I seldom say that.  I have read this past week on various blogs (thanks to Carter) how poetry is dead.  I discovered through this reading there are a lot of fucking experts out there that like to hear themselves talk.  I would agree it has changed.  It is different.  But dead?  They haven’t read Gerald Locklin or checked my inbox.

In 1984 Charles Bukowski said of Gerald Locklin, “It has been my pleasure to speak very well of this man and now I think it will be your pleasure to read him. ”

I wish I had said that.


5 Responses to “Locklin: The Final Word”

  1. Bob Philbin Says:

    A real pleasure, all week.

  2. Scot, I’ve enjoyed this series so much. I hope Gerry Lochlin has seen the feature and knows it was well received. And yes, I read his poems and think, too, ‘I wish I’d written that’!

  3. “But we know there is always one in the bunch.” Pleasures aside, I would have liked to seen the words of the forgotten name re: the esteemed professor’s following. My curiousity, perhaps morid, for the lone voice could be borne in the paradigm of the Bard himself, supposidly ridiculed by his peers of the instituion. I dread the thought of the Amerikan (con)ciousness of poetry being synon to the academe. Charles Plymell

  4. hey Scot, thanks for the mention of Modest Aspirations. it was very kind of you. i’ll see Gerry tonite and i’ll mention rusty truck to the assembled crowd, maybe get you some more traffic. take care and don’t let the bastards get you down…

  5. rusty truck has changed my life. the writings posted herein are absolutely the best. thanks!

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