National Poetry Month and Dominique Locke

anderson-national-poetry-month-ThinkstockA Note To Our Subscribers:
For the next month our posts at 5Writers will increase from six to ten; therefore the number of notifications you receive via email will also increase. Please know that it is not our intent to spam you, nor is it permanent increase. It is temporary and will only happen for the month of April as we celebrate National Poetry Month. The number of emails you receive from us will return to normal in May. Thank you for being a part of!

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2015! We’ve got a very special month planned for you: 30 days, 10 poets, 30 poems.

We’ve invited ten amazing poets from all over the U.S. to share poems that are special to them and they’ve responded with a fantastic, fascinating array of work. For the next month we will reveal their choices three poems at a time: one poem that inspired them to want to be a poet, one by a friend, and one of their own. We hope you’ll enjoy our month-long celebration of poetry. First up: Dominique Traverse Locke.

April 1, 2015 – Dominique Traverse Locke


Dominique Traverse Locke

Dominique Traverse Locke received her B.A. in English from Virginia Intermont College where she served as editor of the college’s literary magazine, The Moore Street Review, and later received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. She has been publishing work in literary magazines such as The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Barely South Review, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, The Clinch Mountain Review, The Dead Mule of Southern Literature, and other fine publications regularly since 2006. Dominique’s first collection of poems, a chapbook entitled The Goodbye Child, was published by Aldrich Publishing in late spring of 2012. Later that year, No More Hard Times, a full length poetry collection, was published by Alabaster Leaves Press. Two of her manuscripts were finalists in the Press 53 Open Awards, one of which won the poetry category. Her poem, “Thumb,” was a finalist in the poetry category of the STILL: The Journal Literary Contests. Additionally, her poem “By Late July” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Dominique is hard at work on a solicited third manuscript. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains with her husband, the poet, David Alan Locke, their son, Holden, and a slew of beloved shelter rescues.  

Dream Song 4

John Berryman  

Filling her compact & delicious body
with chicken páprika, she glanced at me
Fainting with interest, I hungered back
and only the fact of her husband & four other people
kept me from springing on her

or falling at her little feet and crying
‘You are the hottest one for years of night
Henry’s dazed eyes
have enjoyed, Brilliance.’ I advanced upon
(despairing) my spumoni.–Sir Bones: is stuffed,
de world, wif feeding girls.

 –Black hair, complexion Latin, jewelled eyes
downcast . . . The slob beside her     feasts . . . What wonders is
she sitting on, over there?

The restaurant buzzes.  She might as well be on Mars.
Where did it all go wrong? There ought to be a law against Henry.

–Mr. Bones: there is.

“Simply put, this poem was the first poem I ever read that didn’t include the words thee or thou in every stanza. I remember thinking, “This is poetry? This IS poetry.” Berryman shattered every perception of poem and poet that school textbooks tried so hard to establish. Never before had verse resonated with me so deeply, so profoundly that I felt like part of the poem, like I was sitting just one table over from this lovelorn man and his motley crew trying desperately not to stare.” – Dominique Traverse Locke

April 2, 2015 – Dominique Traverse Locke


Catherine Pritchard Childress

I should have realized when he stopped
at the overlook eager to show me the view
of his mountains, his home—to share
not too distant high school memories

of hiding six-packs from his mother.
When he treated me to a buffet lunch,
timidly pushed his food around his plate
while I ate, I should have known—

but I can’t remember a man courting me.
Handholding and dinner dates gave way
to the garage and Sports South years ago—
I don’t know the last time someone wanted me,

skimmed my jawline with fingertips
traced the hollow above my collarbone,
kissed the freckles on my shoulders one by one,
kneaded the length of my spine, small of my back. 

It had been so long, I no longer recognized
the ritual, the moves—Couldn’t see anything
but a boy who said finally, I spent the summer
learning the notes to your favorite song—

then he played “Dance Me to the End of Love.”
I watched his lips purse, then part, in a whispered tune,
his hands move along the length of the guitar’s neck,

his fingertips pluck and strum, coaxing a familiar chord. 

 Originally published by Still: The Journal

“What I love most about Catherine’s poem is the ease of which the words stride across the page like a tall woman in a flowing dress walking into the breeze. Her poems, especially “Seduction”, speak to me in my native Appalachian tongue, proud and true, with crisp, clear images that move the stunning narrative along.”  – Dominique Traverse Locke 

April 3, 2015 – Dominique Traverse Locke

Stories I Tell

Dominique Traverse Locke

You listen to them. 
The ones that come in short bursts and the ones that drag on
into the evening, night, morning. 
My brother and the fish story. 
My father and the cancer story. 

Sometimes you ask questions 
and I watch your Adam’s apple rise up in your throat
the way a cork moves up the wet neck 
of a bottle of pale yellow wine. 
I study your lips. The way they shape the air. 
The sheer mechanics of your strong jaw. 
Your spongy tongue.
And when you stop, I answer. 

But what I want to do is fall to my knees, 
crawl all the way to some holy place 
to thank God for creating a voice, 
unhurried and burning, 
a soft coal in the stove of my soul.

Originally published in The Dead Mule of Southern Literature


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