Duane Locke



A candle dripped over the long gripping
                 White drops dropped to find a
Dark floor,
                      To become
An arabesque as if were an eccentric
White rose.

                        There was a white stem,
Curved as if a
Bow for an archer’s arrows or
A chiasmatic consciousness.

                                                             No one
Stood before me. But a text was being made
By language from the uncertainty of aporic life.
From the ferns
That were a rebuttal to the community, from
The acquisition of fossils and the broken stems
Of hedges seeking the ideal realm of wilderness.

No one was before me, but there was a white rose,
Or was it a white bull frog,
Or a beyond the representative known figures.

It could be erased, but it cannot be erased, it was never
Erased as I erased it. It was being erased as it was being
Created never to be erased.

It will be present in its absence among all elisions
Among the wild lilies in the dark, damp bogs
Of knowing and unknowing. It utters in every location.

But no finding, no ascertaining, no epistemological claims
To its lost politics. No

Narrative transference, or a protagonists with a postionality
To replace questions.

Verbal existence, Being replaces the deferrals and detours
And the lostness of interpretive clarity.


The mill gripped in his fist water to turn a wheel, the water
As if the sliced-off part of a sombrero brim
Down staircases sawed by marketplaces, tumbled
Into water, water into water, water to fuse with water,
Become invisible in the invisible as the few
Authentic beings live.

The water, without awareness of a false subject-object
              Mobile without ascription of motion moved up
The thighs of stone, and circled with its arm the stone,
And the flow without a before and without an after
Left as if left
                          Bubbles and streaks
                                                                   So complex
As to be a contours of a courtship on a tennis court.

And it all was a printed picture on a childhood bag
Of grits.

Duane Locke lives in rural Lakeland, Florida, a few feet from an osprey nest.

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