Lola Alvarez Bravo: El Sueño del ahogado, c.1945

Poem by Gerald Locklin

Ambiguities haunt our languages
Of dream, desire, figuration.
Are there little quince princesses
Posing upon the river, fallen branches,
Rocks, and diving-board pilings—
The inhabitants of the slumbered Head
Of the decapitated, recapitulated Orpheus,
Or is he the handsome cynosure
Of their collective virginal lust?
Do we meet our Incubi and Succubi
In the colorless weather of the night?
Are we allowed to remember
Our silver seductions
In monochromatic flashbacks,
Or do they only remain as muscle memory?
My wet dreams are getting drier,
But awake I can shoot down every aircraft.
How damp are a woman’s humid dreams? 

Illustration: El Sueño del ahogado, c.1945, photograph by Lola Alvarez Bravo. According to, “Lola Alvarez Bravo is widely recognized as Mexico’s first woman photographer and a pioneer of modern photography…[her work spans] six decades…images include street photographs, images documenting indigenous people and traditional culture in Mexico, portraits, and Surrealist-inspired photomontages.”


Note: Gerald Locklin wrote the above poem after visiting the “Women and Surrealism” exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the spring of 2012. The poem and several others inspired by visual art at the exhibition appear in Issue #5 of  The Más Tequila Review, available at The 130-page issue, edited by poet Richard Vargas, includes 66 poems from 37 poets. This is an amazing collection in a beautiful large format edition that includes Richard Vargas‘s homage to one of L.A.’s finest entitled “salvation…for Ray Bradbury.” Highly recommended — and a bargain at just $7.00! 

The Más Tequila Review is now accepting submissions for its Winter 2013 issue. Details here.