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Henry VIII Poem

Duane Locke

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[Duane Locke, Doctor of Philosophy in Renaissance Literature, Professor Emeritus of the Humanities, Poet in Residence at University of Tampa for over twenty years, he has had over 2,000 of his own poems published in over 500 print magazines such as American Poetry Review, Nation, Literary Quarterly, Black Moon, and Bitter Oleander, is author of 14 books of poems, his latest being WATCHING WISTERIA (to order write Vida Publishing, P. O. Box 12665, Lake Park, FL 33405-0665, or see or call Small Press Distribution-1-800-869-7553), as a cyber-poet, since Sept 1, 1999 has had 726 acceptances of his poems by online e zines, photographer, listed in PSA's WHO'S WHO as one of the top twenty nature photographers, currently has 58 of his Alley photos accepted on line (These are pictures made of discards and trash in alleys. He moves in close to find a design that speaks beauty from what people have thrown away), painter, currently having a one-man show of over 30 painting at the Pyramid gallery in Tampa, winner for poetry of the Edna St. Vincent Millay, Charles Agnoff, and Walt Whitman awards, now lives alone and isolated in the sunny Tampa slums. He lives estranged and as an alien, not understanding the customs, the costumes, the language, some form of postmodern English, of his surroundings. The egregious ugliness of his neighborhood has been mitigated by the esthetic efforts of the police who put up bright orange and yellow posters on each post to advertise the location is a shopping mall for drugs. His recreational activities are drinking wine, listening to old operas, and reading postmodern philosophy.]

Henry VIII
Wrote music
And poetry
Like most people do.

Henry VIII
Killed a
Number of women
Like most men do.

But Henry VIII
Was recorded in history.
Most people who write music, poetry,
And kill women are never heard of.


A man,
Up to his waist in gulf water,
Used a chain saw
To saw the water.

He was sawing the water into blocks,
Said he could use the blocks
To build expensive houses.
What puzzled him

There was no sawdust
As when he sawed down forests.
There were always large piles of sawdust,
Cost much to move away.

When his hired men
Waded out with wheelbarrows
To pick up the blocks of water,
They could find none,

He fired all of his workers
At the end of the day,
Hired a new crew the next day
To pick up the blocks.


Surrealists invent fur-lined tea cups,
Saints wear hairshirts.

The gentle man wore a gold wedding ring
That had a hair-lining on its concealed circle.


You, a darkness,
Annulled Apollo,
Saved from death,
The amorous.

Now, your leaves
A landslide of love,
Dig up
The Babel Tower
Buried in
The inner forest
Of my blood,
Birds sing
In unknown tongues..


The dark earth under spiderwebs
Is wet, loose, sinks and oozes
Under the pressure of our boots.

The morning sky looks like mimosa,
Colors paler than usual,
I dream our livers are pastel colored.

No, our lives are something
In black and gray, like smears
Of Franz Kline, not the formal

Organization of a Whistler.
Her life inaccessible to me,
Like a stained glass window.

We walk together, very close,
Wind shakes a tree, white petals fall.
We walk together, never touch.

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