Archive for the Gerald Locklin Category

Two Poems by Gerald Locklin

Posted in Gerald Locklin with tags on September 16, 2010 by Scot

Not Quite the 1960s

When I observe the students
At a wealthy private university
Demonstrating against the institution’s
Alleged ties to “sweat shops,”
My first thought is that they must
Be referring to the faculty sauna bath.
And when the administration gives them
Fifteen minutes to end their sit-in
At the president’s office
Or lose all student privileges,
Including their student loans,

They managed to be out of there
By the fourteenth minute.

–from the ristorante godotBottle of Smoke Press


The Freedom Fighters

her mother ranks cleanliness
just a little higher than godliness,

so when my daughter realizes I’ve caught her
wiping her hands on her jammies in the kitchen,

she winks conspiratorially,

and I wink back.

From Steve Kowit’s In the Palm of Your Hand, (1995) p.170

© Gerald Locklin

The Iceberg Theory by Gerald Locklin

Posted in Gerald Locklin, VIDEOS with tags on September 15, 2010 by Scot

The Iceberg Theory

all the food critics hate iceberg lettuce.
you’d think romaine was descended from
orpheus’s laurel wreath,
you’d think raw spinach had all the nutritional
benefits attributed to it by popeye,
not to mention aesthetic subtleties worthy of
verlaine and debussy.
they’ll even salivate over chopped red cabbage
just to disparage poor old mr. iceberg lettuce.
I guess the problem is
it’s just too common for them.
it doesn’t matter that it tastes good,
has a satisfying crunchy texture,
holds its freshness,
and has crevices for the dressing,
whereas the darker, leafier varieties
are often bitter, gritty, and flat.
it just isn’t different enough, and
it’s too goddamn american.
of course a critic has to criticize:
a critic has to have something to say.
perhaps that’s why literary critics
purport to find interesting
so much contemporary poetry
that just bores the shit out of me.
at any rate, I really enjoy a salad
with plenty of chunky iceberg lettuce,
the more the merrier,
drenched in an italian or roquefort dressing.
and the poems I enjoy are those I don’t have
to pretend that I’m enjoying.

© by Gerald Locklin

from Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems

Posted in Gerald Locklin with tags on September 14, 2010 by Scot

Rainy Season

The old woman at the window,
Gray as vinegar and vicious
As a cracked windowpane,
Says nary a word.

But the great gray spider
Out in the rain

All our webs get wet in the spring.

(section: 1967-1970)


Forget the Sexual Politics

I witnessed a poet break down
While reading a poem dealing with
His love for the man he lived with
And cared for (his companion being blind)
For maybe thirty years, maybe more.

He tried a number of times to go on,
But finally gave up.

This has almost happened to me
while reading certain poems
About my love for my daughter.

The moment clarified for me
A simple truth
That I had always known
Intellectually, even emotionally,

But had never experienced such
A vivid, memorable
Demonstration before:

Love is love.

(section: 2000-2007)

from Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems, World Parade Books

© by Gerald Locklin

i guess it’s a guy thing by Gerald Locklin

Posted in Gerald Locklin with tags on September 13, 2010 by Scot

“wouldn’t you like a gal friday?”
she asks me.  “i mean if you ever
struck it rich wouldn’t you hire me
as your girl Friday
to type your poems,
send them out,
keep track of them,
and deal with publishers and signings and
public relations and reservations and requests
for prefaces/blurbs/interviews/letters of rec,
and your income taxes?”

“what about my social calendar?”
i ask?

“you mean your sex life?
I would be your sex life;
you wouldn’t need anyone else.
wouldn’t i  be all the sex life you’d need,
especially at your age?”

“oh yes,”  i say, “sure of course,”

and it’s safe enough to say so,
because I’m never going to
strike it rich anyway.

from The Plot of Il Trovatore and other poems, Kamini Press
© Gerald Locklin

watercolor by Henry Denander

The Gerald Locklin Interview

Posted in Gerald Locklin, INTERVIEWS with tags on September 12, 2010 by Scot

Introduction by Charles Harper Webb

I first met Gerry Locklin in the pages of the late, still-lamented Wormwood Review. I’m not speaking metaphorically. Gerry’s presence was so palpable in his words, I felt as if we were meeting in the flesh. When, a few years later, we did meet that way, I felt that we’d been friends for years.

Now that we have been friends for years, I still feel as I did back in the Wormwood days: wow, this Locklin guy can really WRITE!

He doesn’t, though, write capital-P Poetry. He doesn’t wander lonely as a cloud (although he writes well about loneliness). He doesn’t write sonnets to the sensitive (although he could). He doesn’t write post-post-post-modern experiments for the cognoscenti (although he knows as much about poetry and literature as anyone). His poetry, in its deceptive simplicity, has provoked the question, “Why is this a poem?” Rather than answer in a long essay (or diatribe), I remind the questioner that Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the brainiest of the English Romantics, defined poetry as “The best words in the best order.” That’s what Locklin gives us, again and again.
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