Poetry by Duane Locke

Added 8 November 1999

This is a section where I post poems sent to me by people who have found my site and wish to display their own works. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

This poem is by Duane Locke

The Death of Luis, Philosophy Professor Turned Revolutionary

Luis wounded, said to Damniso,
I think I'm on the steps of the enemy,
The new luxurious government building,
Black basalt columns, golden gargoyles
Sticking out forked golden tongues.
Each tile has a different design.
My head bleds on a dark blue tile
Spotted with pale blue abstract lilies.
It is beautiful to see the vermilion
Of the neon dancing girl on the bar across the street
Reflected on the pastel blue of a lily petal.

Damniso said to Luis, No, you are in a vacant lot
Among empty bottles and abandoned shoes.
Damniso quoted words Luis used to speak,
"To believe you know where you are
is just another failure of vision."

Damniso wondered why he and Luis had not deserted,
For they no longer believed in the revolutionary ideals.

Luis, dying, started to believe he was the Virgin Mary.
He cried, "I'm going to give birth to the savior of mankind."
Damniso told Luis, "Luis, you are not any virgin,
You're not a woman. Only a woman can give birth."
Luis said, "When we think we know who we are
It is just another failure of vision." He died.

BIO: Duane Locke, Doctor of Philosophy In Renaissance Literature, Poet in Residence at a university for over 20 years, Professor Emeritus of the Humanities, Publisher of over 2,000 poems in print magazines such as American Poetry Review, Nation, Literary Quarterly, Black Moon and Bitter Oleander, his 14th and latest book of poems being WATCHING WISTERIA (to order see http://www.vidapublishing.com or call Small Press Distribution, 1-800-869-7553), photographer (listed in PSA's Who's Who in Photography as one of the top 20 nature photographers, recently has photographs in Glass Cherry and Yefieff), currently having a one-man show of his paintings at the Pyramid Gallery in Tampa, now lives alone, unknown, isolated in an old, decaying, two-story, inherited house in the sunny Tampa slums. The egregious ugliness of his neighborhood has recently been mitigated by the esthetic activities of the police. The police have posted bright yellow and orange posters on all poles to advertise the location in a high drug district. Duane, lives as a stranger and alien, as he does not understand the customs, costumes, or language, some form of postmodern English of this violent neighborhood.