Sunday, April 19, 2009

Early Commitment

Marching up Madison Avenue
our feet lifting
through high snow
Galleries glisten gold
If only we could
They said we'd
need jobs/ haircuts
you smile
“The world will feed us”

Big Windy / Chicagotown

more voices
lapis voices
Ash sha sha sha
ch ch chicago
this spring
tugs to be worn
a sheer blanket of culture
the western plains / mist
of Satin Doll
like the echo of drum
the lake
like blue ice
blue buttons
African incense
red velvet
The Blues Room
odd spirits dance
out of the abandoned
hotel / a Turkish
girl wearing an orange
scarf pulling a camel
gangsters with cigars
pigeons fly in
and out of broken
We'll never leave you
do you hear
we'll never leave you
our baby / Moses
sits like ancient
rabbi / his face
falls over itself
more voices
lapis voices
Ash sha sha sha
ch ch Chicago

The Right To Create

I didn't get your name
when we shook hands
you/shining in humility
with your milk
clouded eyes
I smell humanity
on me/ breed the seed
of art/ carry
around the pain
We do the corn-bottom
rock/ the ghetto dance
like grappling for truth
in an anti-art world
You can't catch me
I'll spit in your face
There is no pain
only pride.

Deportation 1977

They pull us out
of an icy pool
gut and scale us
throw us back
to America
one eye bleeding
we jog
to Georgia
where the grape-vined
forest takes us in
and feeds us
and pecan.

Dawn awakened the farmer

New fields to be broken
Shovel in hand the icy dew
becomes lost
beneath the earth
A patch of holes an early spring sweat
The birds aglow a song of planting
He rests in contemplated love.
Dawn awakens the city man
New deals to be made
Pen in hand the blankness
becomes messages
A race card filled in a train ride
Track smelling dirt
Horses afoot nerves alight
The custodian sits and counts money
Mostly pennies
On the sparkling bath house floor
for the pious Jews
The search for home within himself
The uncontrollable day ahead
Seeds turning sprout
Magic growth beneath the earth
Forging storms bleating winds
Plastic flowers on the table
The canary chirps with spring
A child takes his first swim
and trout get hooked and cooked from the icy pool
Chain gangs funny farms rest homes
awaken with the bells of dawn.
The climb to see the sun from cribs in the wall
Cries of pain to feel some life, pushing upward
To only stand
Buggalooing on the streets
The rhythm taken from the day
Rockin mama on her stoop in prayer of hope
Time to wake the kids to see the day.
Burnt bacon, side of fear
for the unborn.
Clear cold bubbling mountain
Water rushing to the bucket
Inspired afired to create art
He selects his color strokes
And moods to please appease the call
It was a perfect hot sunny Georgia day
When I heard she died
I looked out the window
It was really raining
Thundering lighting
For one minute and then
Back to sunshine
My mother was an Indian
The first hours of waiting were easy
A little flour a few fern tips
A child belly fills up
Then the cries of hunger
The screams of pain
How long can we last
Waiting praying the anxiety of the past
We sat on the path waiting for you
But you had your time speaking no French
Worried sick about us, on foot with a painting
Under your arm. The hunger passes
The light becomes clear.
The spirit strengthens
Shadows appear. The child plays with no fear
And then you are here.
So we go on sticks in hand
Art our teacher love our guide
To the black space ahead
Understood by few
Feared by many
Courage this race
All feathered caps
The baby fruits grow up and down
Flowers signs of hope
The pecan tree bears not this year

19 West 68th Street

to a room with round
windows facing the street
I / being twenty
living in a six-floor
coral stone
a gate guarded the last flight of stairs
to the room James Dean
lived / still left
a wooden chaise / a few cheap
books and a built-in
an illegal crib / no heat
rose that high / no hot
water could travel that far
outside the room was the stove
a blue / four burner
gas with no oven
an iron door
next to the bathroom
led to the roof
shared by the building
next door / you
could barbeque out there
a photographer from that building
took pictures of Belafonte
and Poitier / with the city
as a backdrop
I bathed over there
left the roof door open
visited Marvin / my friend
a writer / he traded room'
for typing
Jon cards for Penelope
an Israeli prostitute / dead
he died / too much
Dr. Feelgood
Lillie / the dregs
a deaf poor soul
always stood on the front
stoop / waiting
for her transvestite son
to get out of jail
a bathtub sat on the floor
a board covered it
a shrine/ with plastic icons
her son Pat come home
with the cops chasing him
she’d throw him
into the tub cover it and run
down the street
with the heat
on her / throaty sounds / still
my soul
P.T Barnum's governess / Mrs. Keeslestone
lived on the fourth floor
she was 100/ visiting her
was always spooky/ everything
in the apartment was covered
with white sheets/ so afraid of dust
she never went out/ she waited
to die / she told great stories
about Dean/ how quiet he was
how gentle he spoke
Amidst the cellar rats
in a box I found three Harlow
gowns/ later I cut them
up/ made braid rugs/ velvet
'n satin/ black'n white
to sell on South Street
East River Docks / where
the dead pigeons lay
Mike / a famous midget
lived across the street
next to Kazan/ the peephole
on his door is crotch-high
out of Burger King
I roped junkies
took them home/ picked
their brains/ hid their dope
just to know
I came home
walked up the six
flights /gate broken
room door open/ wig
underwear / record player
missing / Lativioes gone
I heard rustling in the bath-
room / I flung open the roof
door / let them out / like
they did my birds / without
ever seeing them
Dean's gentle spirit
kept me during those
years / everyone wanted me
out / yet there I felt
safe / my own vision
peering out the same porthole
onto the same street
it was my space now
I guarded it / not for Dean
not for me / but for a disposition
that rests there / an ancient
secret / a director
without a script
looking for actors
who possess the key
and are ready
for flight.

Francy Stoller's Poems

2328 Arthur Avenue #3C
Bronx, NY 10458



Born- N.Y.C.-1948
University of Arizona

1977-Atlanta, GA- Solo, feature, group readings- Little Five Points Pub

1978-1982- Open readings, pubs, bars, festivals, Atlanta, GA


Local Atlanta, GA Newspapers

BLACK RIVER REVUE, 1991. BATTLEGROUND, an epic poem- paid $100
WHITEWATER REVUE- Toronto, Canada.- 1992.
THE FLYING ISLAND- 1993, 2 issues, Indianapolis, IN
Free Peoples’ Press- 1994, Indianapolis, IN
Drumvoices- S.IU.E., Ill. 2 issues, four poems, - 1983- ’85.
EYEBALL- 1999, St. Louis, Mo.
Stained Heets- N.Y.C., ABC NORIO- 1999.
Rockefeller Library- 2008, Take it to the Streets
Numerous small presses have published my work nationally


I.U.P.U.I- poetry society- 1989, ($50.00)
Earlham College- 1991, $100.00, Richmond, IN
Greenmill Bar- Chicago, IL. 1991, $100.00.
Borders Bookstore- Bloomington, IN. $40.00
Toledo Records- Toledo, OH., $50.00
Freedom and Fame- Indianapolis, IN., $100., Indianapolis, IN
Tribute to Etheridge Knight- major reading in Indiana with nationally recognized poets- 1991
Open readings in New York City, coffee houses, bars, clubs, bookstores, gardens, and street corners.
Club 13- 1999- N.Y.C., $45.00.


FREE PEOPLES’ POETRY- 1989-1991, Indianapolis, IN with Etheridge Knight

Butler University- Baraka, Harper, Redmond, Plump, Sam Allen. I have attended events with Elizabeth McKim, poet from Boston, author of five books in Chicago, Boston and Indianapolis, at which major poets have attended and worked with me at my poetry.

Poets Gathering- N.Y.C., Spring 1999- open readings.