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 Unknowable Disease

No doctor can diagnose my disease.
There seems to be no cure.
I drank herbal teas, tried acupuncture, visited witch doctors,
Nothing helped.

In my nightmares I feel uneasy, tormented,
As I watch an unknown face on a head shaped like my own
Wearing a bodiless white smock,
Dancing around the room, flapping white sleeves.

Last night, forlorn,
I went into a bar where no one know me.
I had on a white smock, started dancing and flapping my arms.
No one in the bar knew anyone else, but all became joyous,
Started dancing, flapping their arms.
What came out of my misery, made the others happy.
I thought, perhaps, their happiness is due
To their not wearing a white smock.

Only one exception, a dark-haired girl,
Sitting alone in a dark corner.
She did not dance or flap her arms.

She sadly looked at me, said, "I understand,
For I have the same disease.
No doctor can diagnose it."
She started crying.
The dancing and flapping accelerated.

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.