When Four Years Old, poems by Duane Locke

Thursday, February 4, 2010


[A poem the four year old

Would have written if he had had the words.]

Normal was knowing

How to bump,

Knowing how to scare


How to be afraid of sea gulls,

How to snap a garden bean

Into threes,

How to live by convictions

That only convicts can understand.

It is easy to learn to be normal,

There are so many teachers.


[A poem the four year old

Boy would have written if he had had the words.

I foresee our afternoon in Tivoli,

Disconcerted by initials cut white

On the painted meadow green

Of billowing gold embroidered sleeve

Whose ivory displays a slender hand

With African diamond in wedding ring.

Whiteness exuded how those that surround

Are in desperation that ends in destruction.

The bats that are ink spots on white spray

Of artificial waterfall knows the answer,

Stores protection in their radars.


[A poem the four year old

Boy would have written if had had the words.]

An uncle played an ukulele,

Gives as Christmas gifts, pineapples.

His suntan on fair-gentlemen skin

Was from heated aluminum.

He claimed his darkness was due

That coconut palms never gave enough shade.

He feel uneasy in crowds for he felt

Everyone was revolting from the genteel tradition.

He often asserted that only volcanoes were wise,

The other mountains, idiots.

He bought a Rhode Island Red,

Called it a cockerel.


[A poem the four year old

Boy would have written if had had the words.]

I foresee a future day in Washington D.C.

By a Rodin in the National Gallery’s dinning room.

The sculpture was a time-tarnished white myth

With no historic origin except the utterance of words

That would elicit a fiction from fantasy of particular perception.

Her Slavic-Teutonic blonde hair shadowed

By the outspread wing of Cupid in Psyche’s chamber.

I tried in conversation to accent my sounds

With a Gothic lettering. But she, impatient with

The need for decipherment quickly overlooked

My hermetic communion, supplied her substitute.

When with her, I was always perceived as someone else–

Someone whom I would never like.


[A poem the four year old

Boy would have written if he had the words.)

I have a truth

That is my flesh, its synapses

Sparkle, flash

Among an outside companionship of lies.

I foresee in Italy, Pienza.

Yes, Pienza

Where Duccio’s gold

Is geology

And my gift.

But in Pienza there are showers

Of silver,

And they are not a Zeus incognito,

But specks, clips, dots, segments

Of silver

That sing, feel, and fly.

I asked Adorno

How could art ever exists again


The silvers of Pienza.

Giotto was the start of the decline.

Duane Locke lives hermetically by ancient oak, an underground stream, and an osprey’s nest in rural Lakeland, Florida.

He has as of January 2010, 6,513 different poems published in print magazines, American Poetry Review, Nation ,etc. and e zines, Counter Example Poetics, Pen Himalaya (Nepal)

And 21 books of poems. His three latest books, 2009, are Yang Chu’s Poems (376 pp.)

Crossing Chaos, Canada( order from publisher or Amazon); Voices from a Grave (40 pp.) erbacce, England (order from erbacce), and Soliloquies from a High Wall Hidden Cemetery (37 pp.) Differentia Press, California (Free download, www.differentiapress.com) .His first book published is 2010 is 53 paged A Marble Nude Pualine Borghese with a Marble Apple in her Marble Hand, Scars press, http://scars.tv.

Has interviews in Counter Example Poetics, Eviscerator Heaven, Pen Himalaya, Ann Arbor Review, and Bitter Oleander. For more information click “Duane Locke” on Google Search, over 500,000 entries. Is in Who’s Who in America (Marquis).

He is also a painter and photographer. An account of his painting is in Gary Monroe’s Extraordinary Interpretations ( U of FL press). His sur-photos are scattered throughout the internet, and he has done many book covers. Has a Ph. D, specializing in English Metaphysical Poetry (Donne to Marvel).

His interest are philosophy (PostModern, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger),

Insects, butterflies, birds, Opera, Mahler, and Viennese music.

© 2010, Metazen.

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2 Responses to “When Four Years Old, poems by Duane Locke”

  1. I like gothic style. I’m definetly not an expert but good emotions are coming out of that for me.

  2. thanks for posting this


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