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Steve De France, MFA, has traveled widely in the United States. On more than one occasion he hitch-hiked across America. He rode rails on freight trains, worked as a laborer with pick-up gangs in Arizona, dug swimming pools in Texas, did 33 days in the Pecos city jail as a vagrant, fought bulls in Mexico, and dove for salvage off a small island on the coast of Mazatlan. His poetry has been published in most of the English speaking countries of the world. Recently his work can be seen in The Evergreen Review, The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Sun, Rattle, Why Vandalism, as well as others.  In England he won a Reader's Award in Orbis Magazine for his poem "Hawks." In the United States he won the Josh Samuels' Annual Poetry Competition (2003) for his poem, "The Man Who Loved Mermaids."  And recently De France was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. He continues to write poetry, plays, essays & short stories.

 

COUNSELOR FOR THE MOON

The moon is feeling much maligned. I represent my client the moon.
First--She does not like being referred to as the man in the moon.
She wants no more tales of werewolves turning with the moon.
No more covens dancing to the light of the moon.
My client is lactose intolerant, so no more claims she is made of 0
green cheese & most importantly, she wants no more poems,
songs, or ditties capitalizing on intellectual properties
that belong to my client the moon.
For example: The moon never beams without bringing me dreams
of the beautiful Annabelle Lee
—The moon knows of no one
named Annabel or especially Lee for that matter. 
Another case. . . the moon, sick & pale with grief
that thou her maid are far more fair than she.

This absolutely must cease. She informs me She hasn’t been ill
in a over a billion years & despite a few years is fair as ever.
Another instance: The Highwayman came riding on a ribbon of moonlight.
Let’s get this straight: she does not support
lawbreakers & furthermore She has never met
Bess The landlord’s black-eyed daughter.

A word or two before I go——The moon, citing general principles
objects to the following slander: moon for the misbegotten, moonshine
moonfire, sending Alice to the moon, fly me to the moon
fullmoon & empty arms, moonlight in vermont, mooning
or being mooned, moonstruck, moonwalking, moonbathing
swathed in moonlight, religious moonies, moon dazed, moon dazzled
moon shadows, moonbeams, Buffalo girls dancing by the light of the moon
moon gaggled, moon charmed, moonstones, moonfaced
quarter, half, full, horned, harvest, autumn & especially
moonfish dancing on the sea, & all other such derivatives
stairways, shafts, paths, et al.
In short, all comparison & analogy & equivalence
simile metaphor & personification are to stop forthwith
& in the future SHE must be addressed as:
your Goddess,
your Divinity,
or as your own Personal Savior.

published in The Interpreter's House, (Oxford, England)

 

GREGOR’S WINGS

The village clock strikes eight chimes.
Moisture forms on my upper lip,
precisely the minute hand shutters
& clicks over locking in on 8:00 A.M. 
Somewhere I hear distant thunder.

The imperial bank doors swing open.
Polished marble glistens in morning light.
Strangely serene, I carefully consider the endless
accounting-journals waiting inside for me.
I check my brass pocket watch.
Its linked chain loops across my tattered vest.
in the shape of a beetle’s back.

I walk briskly to my work chamber
as my wings rustle under my suit.
A gypsy on the street begins playing the violin.
I consider the bank’s ornate gilded-clock. 
7 minutes past eight.
Closing time seems an eternity from where
I take my post in the metal counting cage.
I sharpen my No# 4 pencil.
My green visor covers my eyes
which have grown so sensitive to the light.
I begin the column of figures.

 

published in Current Accounts (Bolton, UK)

 

 

Steve Defrance
2011 Steve DeFrance


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