‘Legacies’ by Gerald Locklin – poetry and politics

gerald - Copy

I came across the pamphlet the pittsburg poems last night that Gerald Locklin produced with fellow poet Mark Webber [one of those inverse/back to front chapbooks] and I read all the Locklin who I always enjoy so much.

I like particularly the poem LEGACIES that I shall copy here, identifying with the sentiment, and finding amusing the reference to the English who get a bit of a hard time in a few poems in this collection – not sure why. It also seemed apt at the moment in the line about dionysians against apollo: not wanting to corrupt that too much but I do think there is a pertinence here to the coming general election, especially if we ironically accept the ‘chaos’ tag given to Labour by the Tories, and assuming we’d rather have that kind of chaos over their totally controlled uncaring:

as a kid whether in the world
of the three musketeers or the
wars to claim this continent,
we always rooted for the french
against the english, montcalm in
his tragic uphill struggle against
wolfe, the catholic against the
protestants, the hurons over the iroquois.

this presented problems with
james fenimore cooper,
not to mention history.

i think that we were championing
the dionysians against apollo.

today that’s still a losing battle.

[published 1996]

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