Poetry: David Francis

David Francis
Pep Rally for the Home Team

go to school here
raise children here
have nothing to fear

learn to sew
be able to say ‘no’
on with the show

make things clear
fish off a pier
be of good cheer

serve hors d’oeuvres
mind dangerous curves
control your nerves

don’t bend your ear
start letters ‘Dear’
address them near
***


Greasy Spoon Cup (Perky’s)

I’ll assume these
are stains—
made long ago
they won’t scrape off
and you won’t know
about inside
till it’s too late!
***


Failed Novelist (Pigheaded Phenomenon)

I  

When I was unemployed
the waiters were annoyed
and asked, “What do you do—
how do you keep these hours, you?”
I said, “I am freelance.”
They stared, as if in trance,
and waited, as do waiters.
“I am a translator,”
I said, “for companies.”
They asked, “What are your fees?”
“It varies…it depends.”
I left it at loose ends.


II 

I’m not any good at this
and I don’t know why;
not to keep my hand in
but my foot in the door
always once more
though I know what failure is
with abandon
from time to time I try.
***


Exhalation

How sad to be an observer
of other people’s fervor.
***


Breakfast Downtown (as a Child, with My Father)

The miniature boxes of cereal
mirrored in their glass case,
the doodlebug doubled on the sill
were more my speed in the place.

The net on the waitress’ coxcombed hair
and her orthopedic lifts
made me feel like Hansel there:
I did not know there were shifts.

Inhabiting downtown, giants
so enormous that their mirth
was invisible, to quote Science,
as our revolving earth.
***

Bio: Born in Houston, Texas, David Francis has lived in London, Buenos Aires, and New York.  He has produced six music albums, one of poetry, Always/Far, a chapbook of lyrics and drawings, and Poems from Argentina (Kelsay Books).  In addition, he has written and directed the autobiographical films Village Folksinger (2013) and Memory Journey (2018).  His verse and short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. www.davidfrancismusic.com


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