Issue 7 :: Spring 2005  
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Duane Locke

Marianne's Diary 46

On Tampa’s North Jefferson Street
An old man
Sits on an apple box
Under an ancient oak
And tears up a deck
Of playing cards.
With gusto he rips apart
Kings, queens, jacks,
The Aces he tears
Into four parts.

He is telling jokes
To the lizard
That resembles
A small black snake
And wears a red ruff.
The old man is performing
For the leaves.
He sees leaves
As human hands,
For the rest
Of the human bodies
Are buried in the sand.
He dreams he has
A hired stooge
Who will come
From backstage
With a towel
To wipe the sweat
Off his glands.
All he his life
He wanted to be
A comedian.
He learned to talk
In several accents,
But he never told
A joke in public.
Or to anyone
Except me.

To listen to him,
I only charged one-third
The price that I get paid for sex.

Marianne's Diary 47

People watched the rain
That is anemic and needs iron pills.
In the yard before the porch
Are the magnolia’s red seeds
Bursting from the rough pods.
Brightened by a rain drop
That landed and spread out
Translucent over the surface.
The shinning scarlet enlivened
What otherwise would have been
Regrets, grief, or restlessness.
For a moment the few that see
The seed have a modified happiness.

Marianne's Diary 48

Thoughts are as strange
As the human body
That finds thoughts in a some
Indefinite location within.

At this moment as I left
A movie about opera singers
In China, I saw an orange
Colored flower with brown center.

The orange petal was darkened
By a gold-striped insect
With red antennae and his
Shadow initiated my thought

About my old piano and her
Who cherished its existence,
But never opened the closure
To put her fingers on the keys.

It was a type of gnosis
That makes the mental
More powerful but less
Certain than statements

To ascertain knowledge.
She is now playing a Chopin etude
On the piano destroyed by realtors
Who thought the piano unplayable.
Photo credit: Corel