Other Lummox Press Titles: The Little Red Book Series
The Best of the Lummox Journal: Essays, interviews, reviews, links, bios...
GERALD LOCKLIN INTERVIEW: From Lummox Journal - Nov. 2000
The CrossRoads: Where the Lummox meets its maker (Raindog)
EYES LIKE MINGUS : A Jazz Poetry Anthology (includes Locklin poem)



my fall booklist for english 390: fiction now 
came out with the typo, 
"gerald haslam--the wages of sine." 

haslam's wages of sin 
is a very fine collection of short stories 

but one might be tempted to compose 
a trilogy of novels 
detailing, from a marxist perspective,  
the inadequate remuneration of mathematicians 
from pythagoras to the present 

with its volumes entitled. 

the wages of sine, 
the wages of cosine, 
and the wages of hypotenuse. 


two of the great loves of my life 
are sports and jazz. 
my car radio is almost always turned 
to one or the other. 
i do not consider this 
a paradox. 

have you ever watched a krupa, 
buddy rich, or louis bellson 
working out on drums? 
poncho sanchez on the congas? 
the feints and stutter-steps 
of max roach or elvin jones? 

the everlasting lungs of the trumpeters: 
arturo sandoval, maynard ferguson? 
of bird, coleman hawkins, and 
the subsequent supersaxes? 
the forearms and fingers of   
mc coy tyner, les mc cann? 
chucho valdez?  ruben gonzalez? 
the teamwork of the big bands-- 
ellington, basie, oliver nelson, 
gerald wilson--that does not exclude 
the virtuosity of the soloists: 
paul qonzalves, harold land, oscar brashear? 

these cats don't need to jog 
or lift weights to retain the physicality 
required for their instruments. 
they play themselves into shape, 
musical shape at least, 
whatever the condition of their general 
health, personal lifestyle.  or age. 

norman mailer said that ali was 
"a genius of the body."                                                  
so were diz, 
bird, clifford, 
ella. sarah. bud. and joe. 



In the Martin Heade exhibit at LACMA
up-close Brazilian hummingbirds 
in long depths of forest
there is no middle ground 
only in your face eyestrain 
or squint
no comfortable mediations

Redbluegreen so true your eyes burn
you look no further
until distance 
the dark and clotted wild

There is no in-between
no rest on the journey 
to the back of the canvas


I am leaving the house where I have raised my children, 
harpies out of my womb to borrow the image from Dylan Thomas 
Many and busy comings and goings went on here 
all the teemings of suburban growing up 
The cupboards are full 
with the mementos of small happinesses 
and the documentations of well-lived afternoons 

I can throw out now all these needings 
to record just how real and normal it was 
how Donna Reed: just what I wanted 
the detritus of desire for what couldn't be named 
predicating itself over and over in these drawers 
If the kids don't want this stuff 
and they don't 
I can bag it and call the Good Will 
It was I who needed the fetishes of a life 
dense with familial purpose. 
I can chuck now the gymnastics ribbons and soccer trophies 
and Bar awards 

Such proof of meaning-making is no longer necessary 

In the second drawer in the hall closet 
in a stretched then broken rubber band 
is a bundle of decades of hit-up letters 
from the Leukemia Society 
I could never throw these away 
such potent bad luck charms 
tempting the powers of destiny and ruin 
to feel rebuffed 
not owed obeisance 

I couldn't dare fate just then 
in the middle of it 
so I bargained for postponement 
The growing up is done now and 
no one has been lost 
not  even existentially 

About Familiarities

FAMILIARITIES is part of the Little Red Book series (LRB 33). It's already in its second printing, even though it was published in April of 2001. There are some 20 poems a piece in this "split" book of 48 pages. Its handy pocket size (4.25 by 5.5 inches) makes it easy to take it anywhere.

Patricia Cherin was an undeclared major at Cal State University Long Beach in 1966 when she stumbled into a class taught by Gerald Locklin and, immediately afterward, walked over to Administration to declare herself an English major. Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, in the anthology L.A. Woman, and in journals including American Poets and Poetry, Cider Press Review, Psychopoetica, Old Crow Review, Pearl, Spring: The Journal of the E.E. Cummings Society, Home Planet News, The Charles Bukowski Journal, The Ragged Edge, Tundra, Medicinal Purposes Literary Review, Brobdingnagian Times, The Reater, Baker Street Irregular, Simple Vows, and Wormwood Review. This is her first published collection.

Gerald Locklin is the king of the small press. His most recent books include Charles Bukowski: A Sure Bet; Go West Young Toad; and Candy Bars (all from Water Row Press) and Down and Out: A Novel; The First Time He Saw Paris (in Two Novelas); The Firebird Poems; and Hemingway Colloquium: The Poet Goes to Cuba (all from Event Horizon Press). His previous Little Red Book from Lummox Press was The Iceberg Theory (as heard on MPR's The Writer's Almanac). His Four Jazz Women was the fifth in a series of jazz chapbooks published dos dos with works by Mark Weber from Zerx Press.

FAMILIARITIES may be purchased directly from the LUMMOX PRESS by sending a check or cash for SIX dollars to PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733-5301. It's also available at Dutton's of Brentwood, CA; Book Soup of West Hollywood, CA; Powell's Books of Portland, OR; and Water Row Books in Sudbury, MA.

Lummox Press / RD Armstrong

POB 5301
San Pedro, CA 90733-5301