To Live to Bleed for Glory (for Duane Locke), by Heath Brougher at

To Live to Bleed for Glory

To Live to Bleed for Glory

written by: Heath Brougher


for Duane Locke


I’ve gone back to the basics.
Back to my notebooks from my teens.
That’s where the fearlessness lives.
That’s where I find the poems
that are not poisoned by the prospect
of someone prodding them, judging them, staring at them
from head to toe. This is where I find
True Poetry. Poetry that wants nothing more
than to push! Poetry that is screaming
for the bending of the envelope!
Poetry that is likely not going to ever be published
because it’s not an “imitation of poetry”
which is the wretched dreck that has swallowed
the soul of Contemporary Poetry. Professors and editors
have never been more off the mark than today.
Still, the “masa confusa” shines, in pencil
and in pen, when I look back at those teenage pages!
Others will never know of them but at least
I know they exist which is more than enough for me!

The Truth is, Academia must die for True Poetry to live.
Simple fact. Academia = jobs = the necessity for the celebration
of mediocrity = the need to “put a finger on” what poetry
is/can be = at the end of the day, money.

I know that wall is thick and made of concrete and metal.
I know that the first one through the wall is always the bloodiest.
For fucks sake, my head has been bleeding for the past four years!
I will ram my head against that wall day in and day out.
I will sacrifice myself for all those who’ve been dinging
away at that wall for their entire lives!

I will be the one with the blood and no glory
because I was never here for glory. I’ve always
been smashing at that wall
for full velocity limitless poetry
and blood is much more beautiful than glory could ever be.

I see Felino Soriano starting to fade a bit! This
TRAVESTY must NEVER happen.

How many other geniuses have fallen through the cracks of history?

Why doesn’t Heller Levinson win the Pulitzer Prize
every year he publishes a new book?

I do not think those who want to cage poetry
and keep it in nice and neat rows
have any idea how fuckin serious,
and dangerous, I Truly fuckin am!

I promise you, though, they will find out!



This is a poem I wrote for a close friend of mine who recently passed away. The poem isn’t just my opinion but also encapsulates Duane Locke’s ideas about the literary world.  He lived to be 97 years old. He was one of the originators of Immanentism.

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