Milano… by Duane Locke



In Milano, the tranquility of our quill-calligraphed loneliness together
Was reinscribed by tumult’s bad hand writing, the commencing
Of a conversation.
She remarked on the poster in the La Scala lobby–
The wild tossed vermilion hair of a pale-faced girl
Whose lean and awkward placement of arms at acute angles suggested
She was running away from something outside her enframing by others.
I gave the advertisement of the opera “A Streetcar Named Desire”
One of those customary glances
That does not see what is it looking at.
But with her, it became an event that cause a desperation.
She said, “You have enframed me from being a being a subject
Into being an object. You are too entrenched in the subject-object dichotomy”
Secularized from body-soul, by the evil philosopher, Descartes.
No one who has assimilated the subject-object dichotomy
Can ever be lover. This is why no religious person can ever love,
Because the supposed loved one is reduced to an object. This is why
Religion that made the supreme love come from an other-worldly
Imagined force. Since the Cartesian figuration and the belief
In the separation of subject and object has been accepted

And assimilated by everyone, love was exiled from the world.”

I was puzzled. I told her that she was wrong about me.
I did not believe that subject-object separation was a reality,
But just another human lie that so many believed to be a truth.
I told her I was a follower of Martin Heidegger, who
Had completely abolished the existence of a subject and object separation.
I wanted to explain to her that both words were pernicious

And should be removed from out vocabularies.

She would not listen. She sneered, “That she never wanted
To hear any thing I had to say. She went upstairs
To the La Scala museum. I first met her there. She
Was gazing at a replica of Chopin’s hands. Since Chopin
Was my favorite composer, I imagined that we were
Kindred spirits. We were kindred spirits, for both of

Us did not believe in the separation of a subject and an object.

I knew she was upstairs in the museum gazing at Chopin’s hands.
So I went across the street and stood in the Cathedral.
I stood in the same place Shelley stood when he was there.


Duane Locke lives hermetically alone by an oak, the home of a squirrel, with a daily Visitation from a cardinal, a bird, not a cleric, not a baseball player, in Tampa, Florida. Sometimes the visitor is a raccoon, and even a pleated woodpecker.

He has (as of December, 2011) published 6,627 different poems in print magazines like the American Poetry Review, The Nation, etcetera, in e-zines Counter Example Poetics, Pen Himalaya (Nepal) and 21 books of poems. His four latest books, 2009, are Yang Chu’s Poems (376 pp.) Crossing Chaos, Canada (order from publisher or Amazon); Voices from a Grave (40 pp.) erbacce, England (order from erbacce), and Soliloquies from a High Wall Hidden Cemetery (37 pp.) Differentia Press, California (Free download,, and 53 paged A Marble Nude Pauline Borghese with a Marble Apple in her Marble Hand, Scars press, (used in college classes as a textbook).

Forthcoming in 2012, Bitter Oleander Press will republish his first 11 books of Poems (1968-1978) in one volume, over 300 pages, to be titled: Duane Locke: The First Decade, (1968-1978).

Has interviews in Counter Example Poetics, Eviscerator Heaven, Pen Himalaya, Ann Arbor Review, Bitter Oleander, many other places. For more information click “Duane Locke” “Duane Locke, books” or ”Duane Locke, Arts,“ on Google Search, over a million entries. Is in Who’s Who in America (Marquis).

He is also a painter and photographer. An account of his painting is in Gary Monroe’s Extraordinary Interpretations (U of FL press). His sur-photos are scattered throughout the internet, and he has done many book covers.

He has a Ph. D, specializing in English Metaphysical Poetry (Donne to Marvel). His doctoral dissertation, “Images and Image Symbolism in Metaphysical Poetry.” is on UF internet.

His paintings, over 300, are on sale at 290 Parrulli Drive, Olmond Beach, Fl, 32174–

His interest are philosophy (Post Modern, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger), Insects, butterflies, birds, Opera, Mahler, and Viennese music.

Copyright © 2012 by Duane Locke


1 thought on “Milano… by Duane Locke

  1. Duane, you gave me a thrill once by mentioning Blank Gun Silencer in a bio note in American Poetry Review. I just made a trip to my archives and found your address in a box of index cards. Yours is between two poets even more widely published then yourself: Lyn Lifshin and Gerald Locklin. Good to see you’re still at it. Are you still at the same address as the early 90s?

    yours sincerely,
    Dan Nielsen

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