the poetry that matters

R.M. Francis

R.M. Francis is a poet living in Leeds. He grew up in Stourbridge in The Black Country and Studied English Literature at Portsmouth University. He has had work published in Inclement, Fire, United Press, Forward Press, Decanto, Message in a Bottle, The Journal, Spokes, Venus in Scorpio and Burning Houses.


A mutter from my hide,

My whisper, meandering.

Leave now pests,

Leave now colleagues and neighbours, acquaintances and associates,

Soon the swarm instates, they have thirsts instilled from derivation.

Tough tempestuous hums – I hear that rush.

My spine seizes from base to top,

Perpetual pulsations reel around,

Citizens surround me, they are not my community.

Always muddled and mossy,

Always fasting, always cruising, always vast and breathless,

Always the blind error, always the prickled stem, the gasp and cough,

Always the degenerate slyly walking away from the load,

Always me, always others getting for us.

Always the plaster of applause.

Everywhere mouths are sewn with newsreels,

To pump the glutinous pockets, to spoon feed,

Sanctions swallowed in the asset feast,

Everywhere eyes are lugged to view the flogging.

This is the bay where we all wait,

Any canvass that is laid out is laid on all,

We hold as advocates.

Auditoriums of flunkies flounce about to voguish stresses,

I spy across the dance floor sweat, (they revolt without pincers)

I sit with multiple visors, blinding myself with inert assortments,

We all stroke the same procession,

We all falter in the same facade.

I’ve mulled my makeup,

Regard the flaking concealments,

And will debunk your debris with any of my veneers.

These words fury with wings and stings,

Rabid and rapid probes, hooked and sucked and drawing in,

Sleek lustrous images – expel the swelling lass,

All the reserved volumes – expel the player and apprentice,

The dim dispatches corroded and dispelled – expel the sovereign.





I sit saturated in these healthy sermons,

All wits and whims are of the greatest discipline,

Packaged rites envelope about to trap all worship,

I shall not rise nor resurrect bleating out epiphanies,

I shall not kneel or wade with prophecies,

Marking out routes for pilgrims, honouring objects with oracles,

Tearing down the totems of baptism,

Cutting the papal mass with grinding molars, bored and dribbling in communion,

Chewing ayahuasca in the fast and willing eclipses,

Mixing dirt into the Passover dough, snapping pillars in my sleep,

Refusing to wake, refusing the snip, refusing to stay clean,

Slamming doors with a curse at the young converters,

We pissed in the pew as they tried to separate us,

Watching chains cast shadows and clouds of incense,

Blind to the concrete and grass, or to the concrete and grass,

Belonging to the nothing of nothings.

Solitary in the queer sect, I call out the count of each change.

Rejoicing confederacy, dumbstruck,

Earnest and plodding, content and drifting, warm and affected,

I see the mark in all of you, I see the lost desperately hanging to branches.

Insidious vines!

Watch them spread and dislocate with catatonic spurts!

Shiver now all dumbstruck rejoicers,

I follow just like you from sign to wall,

The debate and the insult are tailored to us all,

And all the sacred heckles re tailored to us all.

Around about in the square queue along and around the corner, no one is uncounted.

It counts the dirty youth with can of pop in hand,

And the child who is called to play in her own stretch,

And the one with his stuck up grin who walks too close behind us,

And the red faced gambler who limps without purpose, touching his hands to his hernia,

And the blundering benefit cheat sat on his porch blasting out crackles from his mobile phone,

And the short stout lady callused, and the mocking model proud in her gumph,

And the digits of transactions floating in exchange,

And all of the sprouts, and all dry stems,

And all globes busily eating themselves,

And the oubliettes within all globes,

And all ponderings in all moments.





Now is the fearful touch – sit down.

All handouts I disregard,

I urge you all to stay away and dry.

Tic toc prayer reveals the hide – I am scared to go outside.

I tumbled with the mess through festivities and passed,

But what, oh God, if there is more?

We have looked and booked to own,

And we shall constantly look and book.

I forage through keepsakes of pebbles and clod,

They track the tattoo of events and riches.

We sit in guilt and envy waiting for that post,

I am sorry, the counting never come to tilt,

All time is killed in safe transit, and time kills back with its murderous lamentation,

(the pegs, the canvass and guy ropes are set)

I am the movie still of life getting in the way.

My hands form fists to collect each step,

In every trot is the strike of forks and criss-crosses,

Count the counters strut carefully passed the serpents head.

Slip follow slip performed as bows,

Falling down from nothing to loss,

I took a card from the decks tail and hibernated,

With a red spot glowing on my forehead from the semi-automatic assault weapon,

Insects blanket me – insects and insects.

Magnificent mounds of dung nests wait for me,

Sand scorched by the suns slow glow.

Dead ends rock the cot, shipping it like freight trains,

Towards where strings of celestial matter stand still,

They suck static like leaches at my working.

As I step into their sleep they draw blinds around in a hurry,

My mincing falters at the tepid hoods.

Vanilla and charcoal seep together,

In the long spin of the clouds breath,

They are punctured and split by the sun,

And steroid rays shoot through cracks and onto our crust.

Capillaries and centrifuges steadily steam in a zigzag to prove us,

And again I arch over to ingest the compound.


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                                                                                                      February 19, 2012