art by jared barbick
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 Canada, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, India, and Australia. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in 2002 and 2003, respectively. A few recent publications include The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Mid-American Poetry Review, Ambit, Atlantic, 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" premiered at the Garage Theatre in Long Beach, California (Sept-October 2006). In 1999, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Chapman University for his writing.
The village clock strikes eight chimes.
Moisture forms on my upper lip,
precisely the minute hand shutters
& clicks over locking in on 8:00 A.M.
Somewhere I hear distant thunder.
The imperial bank doors swing open.
Polished marble glistens in morning light.
Strangely serene, I carefully consider the endless
accounting-journals waiting inside for me.
I check my brass pocket watch.
Its linked chain loops across my tattered vest
in the shape of a beetle's back.
I walk briskly to my work chamber
as my wings rustle under my suit.
A gypsy on the street begins playing the violin.
I consider the bank's ornate gilded-clock.
Seven minutes past eight.
Closing time seems an eternity from where
I take my post in the metal counting cage.
I sharpen my No #4 pencil.
My green visor covers my eyes
which have grown so sensitive to the light.
I begin the column of figures.
Steve De France