For Gerald Locklin

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I was saddened to hear of Gerald Locklin’s passing yesterday, a poet whose writing I have always, always enjoyed reading. Having recently included the following in the autobiography I am writing, I post it here as a tribute to and in fond memory of him.

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You can find further posts of mine about Locklin and his writing here.

Murray Dance Instructor

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I think I have finished my autobiography, or as my brother Tom describes it, ‘deconstructed autobiographical vignettes’ which I do like. The chapters are vignettes, and whilst That Last of May is chronological across the time covered, the narrative is not linear and instead recursive. The text should be finsihed as I never intended it to cover a whole life, and as ‘vignettes’ they should be brief and episodic – not framed as a complete and whole thing.

But it’s hard not to keep writing. And it’s hard not to write further and want to include. Here’s one I’m not sure about adding, but wanted to write. I have included quite a bit already, and this is another about the father I never knew and am still discovering, to a degree. He was clearly a Romeo, and it is clear I am not impressed.

This Very Time

this dividing and divisive time
this hoax time
this tremendous time
this analysed final sentence time
this analysed final paragraph time
this witch hunt time
this tremendous anger time
this impeachment time
this impeachment hoax time
this tremendous danger time
this totally appropriate time
this great patriots time
this danger to our country time
this we want no violence time
this greater than most people will ever understand time
this very dangerous for the U.S.A. time
this everybody to the tee time
this catastrophic mistake time
this very bad for our country time
this causes a lot of problems time
this terrible thing time
this tender time
this tremendous tender time
this very tender time
this tinder dry time

 

The Last Stride

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This was the 4th January, 2021 announcement that the online poetry blog, Stride Magazine, was closing. This wasn’t a total surprise to me, and I take some hope in the ‘Bye for now‘ that this may not be permanent.

I have both objective and subjective reasons for rueing any permanent closure. Taking the second, I have regularly had poetry published with online Stride, the first in 2007, and am naturally most grateful for this. Editor Rupert Loydell has always been an active supporter of my work – just maintaining the personal note – providing a platform for it.

More objectively, it has always been an excellent poetry magazine. No frills: just poetry and poetry reviews, this latter perhaps the most prolific of all the online forums? I don’t know for sure, but this in itself has been a considerable promotion of poetry and poets.

Unlike most online poetry magazines/journals today, Stride did not use social media to advertise and promote. I think there has been a welcome proliferation of online poetry which is highlighted through social media, especially Twitter (in my experience). This means there is more poetry out there, whether to read and/or to get published. I think in lockdown this has been generally positive and productive.

That Stride didn’t use this is what it is. And was! In that respect, but more so the sustained focus on the poetry it valued and promoted, Stride will be missed for its distinctiveness.