May 12-18, 2014: Eric Evans and Steve De France

Eric Evans and Steve De France

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Eric Evans

Bio (auto)

Eric Evans is a writer and musician from Buffalo, New York with stops in Portland, Oregon and Rochester, New York where he currently resides. His work has appeared in Artvoice, decomP magazinE, Tangent Magazine, Posey, Xenith Magazine, Anobium Literary Magazine,, Pemmican Press, Remark and many other publications and anthologies. He has published eight full collections and three broadsides through his own small press, Ink Publications, in addition to a broadside through Lucid Moon Press. He is the editor of The Bond Street Review as well as the proud recipient of the 2009 Geva Theatre Center Summer Academy Snapple Fact Award.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Eric Evans and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

This Is Where I Was Going To Write About A Camus Quote

This is where I was going to write
about a Camus quote that my friend
Patti shared with me years ago.

This is where I was going to wax
about Camus’ endless frustration
with asking more of others than
they could possibly give, of the final
realization that it is reciprocal,
that we disappoint them as often
as the fail us.

This is where Elliott Smith enters the picture.

This is where I’m listening to
Roman Candle and its whispers of
tongueless talkers and jaywalkers,
already hearing XO in my head, already
knowing where my soundtracked
day is heading.

This is where Elliott’s friends
recollect about Portland in the ‘90s,
about bars I know and bands I saw,
where I recollect about sharing the
city with him but never once catching
a show, never once paying the
cover charge and singing along.

This is where I assumed that I’d see him
the next time around.

This is where I acknowledge that next
time never came.

And this is where I finally make
my way back to Camus and his
consternation with you and me,
and we with him and us with they
and they with them, about
at last recognizing the futility of
two-ton expectations bound to
the stubborn confines of a
twenty-pound box.

Steve De France

Bio (auto)

Steve De France is a widely published poet, playwright and essayist both in America and in Great Britain. His work has appeared in literary publications in America, England, Canada, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, India, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in both 2002, 2003 & 2006. Recently, his work has appeared in The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Mid-American Poetry Review, Ambit, Atlantic, Clean Sheets, Poetry Bay, The Yellow Medicine Review and The Sun. 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." His play THE KILLER had it’s world premier at the GARAGE THEATER in Long Beach, California (Sept-October 2006). He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Chapman University for his writing. Most recently his poem "Gregor’s Wings" has been nominated for The Best of The Net by Poetic Diversity. Visit Steve on the web here:

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Steve De France and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Preface to the Avenue of Souls

For Shaula

Before the last black crow struggles
on its creaking wings,
gliding across a green canopy of trees
to hastily clatter down on sharp talons,
clicking across ancient tombstones.

falling evening—solemn as any soldier
going into battle, settles down
to wait for the striding of the dark.
Before the evening sun
squints out of sight at the far horizon
& a few grey clouds hover like
tattered hawks over a new kill.

steamy wet & antique streets
in New Orleans gather the shameless,
homeless & heartless into a single beating
reptile heart & folds them
into nervous sleep and into the consciousness
of the long hot smells of the Mississippi night.
the last bitter word
from the last argument,
& the needle falls from the trembling hand.
Before suicide, revenge
& murder settle
over the peeling paint of window sills
in the meanest rooming houses
and in the rich man’s mansion
on Saint Charles Street.

my hand carves
words on this paper,
& before
my heart tells me it isn’t worth doing,
before my mind starts
pulling funerary cars
for my dying spirit.
you step on
or have your dreams
stepped on,
you mutter
into the growing night
that you believe
in nothing.

Not even
this gathering night.

you swear to me
is the last hope of the desperate;
you tell me
about the hole in the ground
where they toss our bones

you tell me the little guy
is the world’s sucker—
and before you sing
to me of Wall Street
and international commerce
and how it
demeans and enslaves
us all.

you tell me how
you are.
How you’d set this
raving world right
with a benign
that would make all our sorrows
as soft
as kittens’ tongues
in ivory milk.
you paint a picture,
tell a story,
write a poem,
carve a rock,
pray to gods,
or raise hope in
willing flesh.
these things are done,
take my hand.
Tell me
the biggest fear
you have ever known
that you still know…
And after
all this is said
and after all this is between us,

let us sit quietly

on what solid ground
there is, and agree
that none of our lives
are what we thought
they should be,
hoped they might be.
the night gets
too thick to breathe,
or too dark to dream in,
before all this
let’s think of ourselves
as the last of the
rational beings.
And as we sit here
on the Avenue of Souls,
outside of Mexico City,
tentatively waiting for a
celestial translator
to interpret the garbles messages
spoken to us by the orderings of this night.

Give me your hand—it trembles so
and before we sleep, let’s just say,
it’s getting very dark now.


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