Hemingway Colloquium: The Poet Goes to Cuba

by Gerald Locklin. Event Horizon Press, P.O. Box 2006, Palm Springs, California 92263. 1999. 42 pages. $24.95.

Book Review by

Event Horizon Press, P.O. Box 2006, Palm Springs, California 92263. 1999. 42 pages. $24.95.

The Hemingway Colloquium: The Poet Goes to Cuba is as fine a book as Locklin has ever written. His clarity, wit, satirical view and acute observations into the human condition have never been so sustained or so accurate. He admiration for Hemingway has here found acute accuracy. And these poems, in the Hemingway context, are among Locklin’s best. He is a such fine wine in this collection. The price is steep, but again, we are talking about a life time wine. He writes fresh, straight from the hip and heart. The long narrative forms Locklin employs are simple, crisp and rhythmically perfect strokes of the pen. He writes through airports, tourist busses, about various dinners, bars, swimming pools and flirtations, his state of health, and about the beers he does not drink. The poems and prose are flawless and unadorned, much like Hemingway’s vignettes, short stories and novels. The phrase structure of the poems is controlled, and they never intrude into the poetry. All the tiny instances of life are here given dramatic and philosophical import. The poet is confident, yet venerable and vulnerable, human and heroic. Reflective, strong, independent and in touch with his governing emotions, Locklin has here made art to match his master. Such a strong book. Such a strong, strong, well crafted book. Locklin here is easily at his best.