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should they have stayed together for the sake of the children? By GERALD LOCKLIN

March 08, 1992

1.

the moon puts its chill upon the waters.

the moon kisses the silver fishies

to cold sleep. the moon brushes

the skunks' teeth into keyboards, upon

which the stars perform etudes by czerny,

chopin, paderewski, liberace. the moon

pulls a curtain of kelp across the wall-

eyed windows of incoherent bass.

2.

the sun serves an abalone breakfast-

in-bed to the seals. the sun sings

"ol' man river" to the flood-control

canals. the sun sees how many anemic

barracuda it can induce to fly its

arctic clutches. the waves begin to

wax ecstatic. the pelicans return

from san juan pepsicola. the sun

has shimmered into seasickness.

3.

tomorrow the sun and moon will celebrate,

in different houses, the five billionth

anniversary of their estrangement. they still

disagree, violently, over which invented gravity.

From "The Firebird, Poems" (Event Horizon Press, 1275 Montalvo Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262: $12.95; 134 pp.) . Were Gerald Locklin an ordinary, monument-building poet instead of that rarest of poetic birds, the comedian poet, this anthology of his work would be subtitled "Poems 1951-1991." He's been at it at least that long--"one of the great undiscovered talents of our time," to quote Charles Bukowski. But this wonderfully chosen selection may just blow his cover. Field writes in the just-long-enough foreword, "He's the only poet I know whose poems about wives and children are not boring." True, and that's just the beginning. 1991 by Gerald Locklin. Reprinted by permission.

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