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Gerald Locklin | The Plot of Il Trovatore

presstgrWhat’s Hot: Poetry in person with LB’s Locklin by Tim Grobaty, Columnist Posted: 02/25/2009

POCKET OF POEMS: For some reason, we’ve taken quite a liking to ”The Plot of Il Trovatore,” the probably 80-somethingth book of poems we’ve received from and by Long Beach’s finest poet, Gerald Locklin.

We tote it around with us, reading a piece from time to time while waiting for a vet or a dentist, or a bus to show up or for our daughter to emerge from the schoolyard.

Perhaps because it’s pocket-sized, or maybe we just thoroughly enjoy Henry Denander’s watercolor of, we’re guessing, Verdi’s Manrico on the cover – it’s likely those two things and the obvious fact that the poems in the slim but beautifully constructed collection are among Locklin’s best – and coming here so long after the poet’s slightly imaginary friend’s rompings through the bar-life and debauchery of Long Beach in the 1970s have long since crashed into near-death and the life ever-after.

The range is huge. At one end, there’s the wry Locklin humor in the self-deprecation – or the spousal deprecation – of ”Toad’s Medic-Alert Bracelet,” in which the aging alter ego’s wife offers to order it for her Toad, an act for which he is grateful, until it arrives bearing the inscription:

low i.q.

advanced hypochondria

and chronic intolerance of household chores.

And then there are the works inspired by Locklin’s lifelong love of the fine arts and the jazz form of music – a brace of indulgences he uses in much of his work now, in some ways to offset some of Advertisement the things in which he or his muse no longer indulge, though those things inevitably sneak in.

We are still happiest when he is a bit melancholy, as he is in ”Good People,” which resonates a bit uncomfortably with our own experiences, and which we don’t even feel good about excerpting here – you’ll just have to somehow acquire your own copy, which you can through Kamini Press for $6.

Beat Scene 57

The magnificent UK magazine Beat Scene just published a very nice review of Locklin’s The Plot of Il Trovatore. Check out Beat Scene, lots of interesting stuff; other reviews and 62 pages of Beat-related articles and photos.



and other poems

by Gerald Locklin

32 pages of poems. First edition of 300 copies out of which 125 are signed by the poet. Twenty-five special copies contain an original signed water color & ink painting by Henry Denander. (First come first served…) Mini-chapbook format, in wraps. Cover artwork and author portrait by Henry Denander.

[quickshop:The Plot of Il Trovatore – Gerald Locklin – Kamini Press:price:10:shipping:0:shipping2:0:end]10 EURO incl. shipment cost world-wide

[quickshop:The Plot of Il Trovatore – Limited Edition – Gerald Locklin – Kamini Press:price:25:shipping:0:shipping2:0:end]25 EURO incl. shipment cost world-wide for the limited edition with signed artwork.

Gerald Locklin is the author of over 125 books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction and criticism with over 3000 poems, stories, articles, reviews and interviews published in periodicals.

CHARLES BUKOWSKI wrote about Locklin: ”I have never been let down. I have been picked up, lifted up, tossed into that rare area: excellent writing with verve, writing that laughs, writing that reads easy yet says something. That’s a good package.”

MARVIN MALONE wrote: ”His poems are about real people and places that illustrate with common language the classic themes of love, envy, honesty, integrity etc. He is pro-people.”

EDVARD FIELD: ”The male spirit in him remains honest, bighearted, sentimental, generous, gentle, vulnerable, but sassy in the face of adversity – qualities that could be applied to as few American poets as to presidents. I think of him as a wonderful, protective big brother every sensitive little boy needs.”