by Gerald Locklin. Liquid Paper Press, P.O. Box 4973, Austin, Texas, 78765. 1999. 64 pages.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
The Back East Poems are a collection of poems about a Gerald Locklin’s reading tour through western New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago and up to Michigan.
It’s a Locklin traveling book of poems about motels, snowstorms, poetry readings and friends and about Locklin’s children and grandchildren. Locklin is about as comfortable with the word as a poet can get. He is gracious and friendly to those who host his readings and names them. Certainly, those noted are small press entrepreneurs: Lords of the streety underground, real and reality, grit and sweet sweat of humanity Poem Gods like Dan Sicoli and Bob Borgatti from Slipstream Magazine in Niagara Falls and the fantastic, erotically CAT poet of Comanche Trail Ohio Cheryl Townsand of torn fishnets, red lipsticks and Santa bags full of leather, lace, chains, XXX videos, tender and lovefullness, hot poem pancake breakfast, maple surip-stick and sticker stuck. Sorry for the riverrun of words. Well, aside from the people he meets, there is always Locklin essentially on a journey through life. In this collection we have a snippets of poetry as a daily, meditative exercises. Poetry is a place, like back east, where Locklin goes to recharge, to again become an artist in the snowstorm of America.