April 6, 2014 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION













Steve De France


The train jerks & I start nervously

at the sudden sound of banging couplings.

For a moment you are framed

by my compartment window,

as if you are a glassed museum

exhibit of early man.


the urgent clang of couplings

as the train bumps forward—I start

but you don’t turn at the sound.

You don’t care the train is leaving,

or that I sit behind air-conditioned glass

my mind working back through time


you are an African Runner

standing alone in sun baked Kraal

& in your eyes the sky reflects

a terrible primal red.


The train lurches forward

on fire with the sunset.

at my isolated window

I start at this leaving,

I always do— My iron portal

speeds across bayous,

& as night shadows lengthen

my train whistle gathers itself

into a high, brittle cry

flinging itself

into the coming of night. 






Steve De France


Something inside is broken.

Things snap as my body

twitches in angry spasms.

Dread comes unannounced

like nausea upon Sartre.

Starting as a tic, or a twitch,

I jerk & flop like a gasping fish on land.


My Doctor says my condition

is a culturally generated disorder.

I can’t control it. . millennial scum creatures

subdivide like amoeba around me,

I cry out strangling—my synapses short circuits

on the ersatz looks of this new humanity.







Steve De France


I drive back to tinsel town on Sunset Boulevard.

Hollywood—a town with its legs wide open,

An American landscape where fast food swathes

the night sky with burning cow flesh. Lowered

cars gyrate, rumble, boom, and with darkened windows,

prowl among fleshy bistros teeming with stale sex,

XXX rated movies, and unlive sex acts.


L.A. is the gun waiting to go off in your face.

Angels of the night linger on street corners,

as streets crawl with immigrants, domestic freaks,

and Zoo People from Montana— here to touch

Bogart’s wig—or Monroe’s wax breast.


All have vaguely heard an ancient culture plans

to kill them. Still they consume all things plastic,

knowing less than more is always nothing.

At times they laugh uncontrollably.




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  1. Susan August 08, at 15:57

    I want to respond to your second poem, so exquisitely stark. The ravaging of the flowers, specific and beautiful, parallels the wreckage of a woman's life in a traditional role turned ugly.

    • Susan August 08, at 16:00

      This comment is for Ilona Martonfi.


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