Books from Gerald Locklin so far in 2013 include, along with Deep Meanings (Presa Press), a novella trilogy from Spout Hill Press: The Case of the Missing Blue Volkswagon, Come Back, Bear, and Last Tango in Long Beach (available individually from amazon.com), a reprint of Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems(2008) from Silver Birch Press, and a single-story e-book The Sun Also Rises in the Desert from Mendicant Bookworks (available on Smashwords). These three poems originally appeared in Deep Meanings: New and Selected Poems(Presa Press); they are reprinted with permission. You may learn more about the poet and contact him through his website and on Facebook.
I could study this canvas every day
And write a different poem from it.
Today’s is about the daring exposure
Of her nipples and thighs
And even the red thatch between the latter
Through the airy thinness of her sundress.
Hopper’s blue is often almost white.
Her posture and her parted lips
Declare our unbowed determination
Undiminished by the years, as late as 1934,
When an entire nation fought
A war upon two fronts,
And prevailed on both.
This red-lipped woman going forth
To meet all comers in her straw hat,
Flowing locks, strong biceps, trim waist,
And foot-forward was a reincarnation
Of Liberty, the Second Coming of
The Lady in the Harbor with the Torch of Freedom,
She also a standard-bearer of our Greatest Generation.
When I first knew her
She was frail and frangible
Bone-thin and vulnerable.
A girl just tip-toeing across
The threshold of adulthood.
Now, at forty-five,
And entering upon an early
Change of Life,
She has developed breasts
That spill out of her blouse at me,
As she’s arranged them to.
They have the desired effect.
As she comes down the stairs,
She is instantaneously irresistibly,
The woman she has always
Wanted to be, and the one that I desire.
Why is God bestowing her on me,
As I near seventy, just finite days
From the infinite emptiness?
Or does he plan to immolate me
In the flames of all-consuming flesh,
The better to initiate me into hellfire
Via suicidal incapacity?
Or could it be that he so loves
His clumsy jongleurs
That he inspires, makes use of,
Even compensates us for
Suggests that each of us
Has the potential to become
Any of a virtual infinity
Of alternative identities,
Simultaneously or consecutively.
He illustrates with images of
Drawn from the Formulae
Of Popular Melodramas.
He is wrong. Sophocles was right,
As were Freud and Jung:
We all fulfill our destinies,
The delineations of which
Become, in retrospect,
Even the stillborn infant,
Even the man in the electric chair.
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