The Bad Comedians


The bad comedians

face the front


forgetting their lines

for the old

in the audience

with crowÕs feet

and bad teeth

and styled hair

who have lived

the same years;

the straight man

started as a

vaudeville straight man

and now has

his own show;

as a filler

he uses his

old vaudeville friends

who do the

same old routines

they did when

show business started;

the band plays

during the break

after which the

bad comedians introduce

and interview the

new singers and

stylists and authorities:

too much description

isnÕt it – just

to convey the

truth of the

bad comediansÕ lives?




Fight On TV, Through The Appliance Store Window


In a corner

the boxer so beaten

he doesnÕt know heÕs sitting


they pour water on him

heÕs rained on

heÕs blind


poor dumb brute

lover of



thatÕs the part I donÕt like

when thereÕs no balance

when itÕs lopsided


in a corner

on a stool

the legs sawn through


as though a drinking contest

with an audience

urging him on


as though a bachelor party

with his friends

he hasnÕt seen for years


like the lover

who, too, must continue

because itÕs all heÕs got






the only thing that can make her laugh

is the comics

not my faces

not my vaudeville routines

not my puns

not my sense of humor

so I bought her some comics

as long as they keep putting them out

weÕll survive




The Dead Whale


There is a dead whale on the sidewalk.

Strange no one has noticed.

There it sprawls, black on the

white pavement.

If it were newly-laid cement

it would leave quite a print.

Well, the port breeze is so strong

you canÕt catch the scent.

The other day there was a swarm of

dragonflies – people are getting

used to plagues of creatures.

The difference is: this is

one big individual.

His eyes are as open as the dead.

Why is it I have a feeling he was blind?

How do I know? Just an intuition.

It doesnÕt matter.

The only hope of moving him

is if someone comes along

and pries open his mouth to

see the strange things heÕs swallowed.

ThereÕs no telling what kind

of person that will be.

Someone very determined

whoÕs not afraid of death.

Maybe a medical student.

Maybe a folklorist.

A strange thing to see,

the last day of the week;

a strange way to begin a weekend!

What a strange sight!

What a curious person!




The Sheep


He says ÒBahÓ loudly like

a grouchy man who has

the face of an idiot.

His eyes are far apart

and his snout is long.

He is big and drags

a chain through a pasture.

He goes into the ditch.

We are leaving the town.

He sticks his tongue out.


© David Francis


Bio:  David Francis has produced six albums of music, one of poems, and "Always/Far," a chapbook of lyrics and drawings. His film "Village Folksinger" has screened in New York, Connecticut, Texas and England. His poems and stories have appeared in a number of journals.