Ranging Around the Zero

Terry Locke


‘A careful driver, Terry Locke looks both ways as he approaches the roundabout of the zero. Negotiating the intersection of noun and verb, he shifts registers more deftly than a courier changes gears. His is a poetry that goes places and delivers.’ — David Howard

“… awareness of detail provides a down-to-earth quality …” — Landfall Online

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SKU: 978-1-927242-59-9 Category:


In Ranging Around the Zero, Terry Locke acknowledges the fragility of those ‘momentary stays against confusion’ (‘Frost’) we erect with words and other symbols. ‘Ranging’ is a metaphor for a relentless urge for order in the face of dissolution and discursive vacuity. While these stays are provisional, they are deemed worthy of celebration as part of the process of ‘locating the basics / through a process of elision’ (‘Walking the Heaphy Track’). The ‘Zero’ is the crone — the dark end that always overshadows our means and yet makes them shine.

The poems in Ranging Around the Zero often follow a line on a map as they do a line of thought. Rather than sit back complacently, the poems embody a notion of progress, shuffling towards enlightenment or clarity, ranging widely through the physical world yet returning, intermittently, to the harsh political and social realities that surround them. With honesty, urgency and tenderness, these poems dance their ‘deliberate dance’. — Jenny Bornholdt

(as we: open parenthesis

Don’t be unnerved
or irritated
if I open a parenthesis
(and succeed in
not closing it.

Consider yourself invited
into a space that declares
there is always something
you can add
to whatever
prompt you find.

Half bracketed together then
we complete
each other’s meanings
becoming one
in dialogue.

Punctuating the silence
in this way
I raise my glass
in anticipation
of your joining me.

About the author

Yes, we are serious

We, the underhand
makers of poems
sampling draughts
from our illicit stills.

Emotions recollected
in anything but tranquility
from the dripping hives
of the everyday

lives we conduct –
words we orchestrate
in covert scribblings
and dangerously.

We are serious, yes
we know how words
positioned thus or thus
construct a knife-edge.

Souls like ours select
our own society
abjuring the market
as proper forum.

When we release with you
the valves of our attention,
we walk the talk,
we walk the line.

Additional information

Dimensions 148 × 210 mm