Duane Locke


The path to be taken is
Not the one most traveled,
Or the less traveled on, but the path never hither-to traveled on, a path
Never stepped on by children carrying candles,
Or adults clipping the wings of vodka,

Or girls who have lost their car keys in parking lots,
Or a boy who does a soft-shoe tap dance when finding a dollar bill.

The path begins pathless,
Is found in the subterrene,
Is found in the sublunary,
Is found in the subaquatic—in languages without syntax or umlauts.

The path begins with the forgetness of printing press products,
The next of kin,
Forgetness of the tuxedo, the swimsuit, old knife tales, the marriage license,
And upstairs rooms of Renoir’s mansion and his lost paint brushes.

No one walks on the path, but stands still even when running, or levitating.

There will be the sounds of billiard balls wearing blonde wigs and clicking on each side,
Winking fingers waving temptations to turn back and find a steering wheel.

The garbage bins accompanying the twistiness and straightness
Will be filled with unscraped lottery tickets and amputated tattooed arms.
Each severed finger will wear seven wedding rings.

The path will only appear and have a point when life becomes pointless
Accompanied a credenza of Rasputin’s beard hiding his diapers,
Or when the Czar stops chewing rose buds.


Duane Locke, PH. D, lives hermetically in Tampa, Florida near anhinga, gallinules, raccoons, alligators. Has had published 7,057 different poems, none self-published or paid to be published. This includes 33 books of poems. His latest book publications are Duane Locke, The First Decade, 1968-1978 (Bitter Oleander Press), Yang Chu’s Poems, and Terrestrial Illuminations. He is a photographer of Surphotos and Nature. Has had 558 photos published, some as book covers. A book of 40 of his surphotos has been published by Blaze Vox, Poetic Imprints, Responses to The Art Of Duane Locke, by Connie Stadler and Felino Soraino. His paintings have been described in Gary Monroe’s Extraordinary Interpretitons, published by University of Florida Press, and are in many private collections and museums. He is a student of philosophy—favorites: Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze.

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