by Gerald Locklin. October 2003. 34 pages. $5.00. Bottle of Smoke Press. 50 Loch Lomond Street, Bear, DE 19701. www.bospress.net
Book Review by Michael Basinski
I see Master Gerald Locklin as Master Po in the old Kung Fu TV series and we are all in the small press poet and poetry monastery of writing. Well, enough of that. I wanted to write something way cool about Locklin’s poems so that those out there reading this might and would buy the book and check it out. Do. Oh I wanted to be profound and flowery and poetic. But I am sitting here in Buffalo and it is zero or ‘2 and snowing. I just moved my car and my wife’s car from the driveway so our daughter could drive to her morning class. She is a college freshman! I am very proud of her. Anyway. I had to do all of that because you can not park on our street at night because the snow plows have to have space to plow the streets so we can all go to work in the morning. So each night every one moves around their cars in preparation. And then in the AM, after 7, when it is allowed to park again on the street, we all move our cars back onto the street. The street that was not plowed during the night - never is. And then an hour later, after 8 am, when all cars and vans and such are out on the street. Arrives the plow! Plowing us in, as we say in Buffalo. And all the while I am thinking of Gerald’s Locklin’s poems. I like it when I find in a poem something that really describes the poet’s work. In one of Locklin’s poems, a poem about Edward Field, (you should read him ’ he is one of the best and one of Locklin’s influences), …the poem is called: The Loser… anyway, Locklin writes: ‘simple, unadorned, yet / musically, rhetorically, and/ metaphysically organized language ’ ’ That’s what Gerald Locklin’s poems offer, ona plate of western New York snow, on a platter of gold, on a trip to England (two trips ’ these poems are about two trips), ona dish of diet coke, on an airplane, or a camel. One must comprehend and enjoy the sheer beauty; the absolute beauty of words and their sound and that is what you get from Locklin’s American poetry. That is what American poetry really means ’ doesn’t it. Easy flowing cadence and the loveliness of our language mixed and altered with all of them other languages and argot and jargon and etc. And don’t let me forget to mention that the illustrator of this book is Henry Denander! He is Sweden’s Locklin Bukowski. I wanted to end with some giant emphatic pronouncement. But I screwed up. Buy the book and enjoy. If your car is plowed in, as we say in Buffalo, you got no place to go, you ain’t movin and can’t drive no place anyway. Read on into the morning.