Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Eulogy for poet Frances Dean Smith aka francEyE.

Poetry-Arts Confidential
Entries about current events, arts and entertainment (including the competitive sport of poetry).
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Eulogy for poet Frances Dean Smith aka francEyE.

It's likely that Frances Smith, also known as francEyE, will be known to future generations not as the talented Los Angeles poet she was--but for her relationship with Charles Bukowski, which produced their daughter, Marina. And this is unfair, since her poems were marked by truth and accessibility-to=everyone and don't deserve to be consigned to footnote status.

My memories of francEyE are mostly good ones. I loved the poetry she would contribute to readings at L.A. venues and on Scott Wannberg's Yahoogroups site Ongoing Dancers. And for a time, she was friendly to me and even let me drive her home on occasion from readings at a venue in the South Bay. All that came to an end early in 2005 when I had a confrontation with a local literary poet (someone who once said that my death "couldn't come soon enough") at that venue. francEyE was angered by this and, as a result, we pretty much avoided each other for the rest of the time she was in L.A.

After she entered the care facility in Northern California, I ordered a copy of an anthology of her work and was suprised and happy when receiving the book with her signature inside.

It's a statement that's been said before--but I, and other poets in LA/Orange County, can consider ourselves fortunate for living in her time.
Posted by Terry McCarty at 9:34 AM
Labels: Charles Bukowski, francEyE, Los Angeles poetry, S.A. Griffin, Scott Wannberg

(And from the great man himself...)

"One for Old Snaggle-Tooth"

I know a woman
who keeps buying puzzles
pieces that finally fit
into some order.
she works it out
she solves all her
lives down by the sea
puts sugar out for the ants
and believes
in a better world.
her hair is white
she seldom combs it
her teeth are snaggled
and she wears loose shapeless
coveralls over a body most
women would wish they had.
for many years she irritated me
with what I considered her
eccentricities -
like soaking eggshells in water
(to feed the plants so that
they'd get calcium).
but finally when I think of her
and compare it to other lives
more dazzling, original
and beautiful
I realize that she has hurt fewer
people than anybody I know
(and by hurt I simply mean hurt).
she has had some terrible times,
times when maybe I should have
helped her more
for she is the mother of my only
and we were once great lovers,
but she has come through
like I said
she has hurt fewer people than
anybody I know,
and if you look at it like that,
she has created a better world.
she has won.

Frances, this poem is for

"One for Old Snaggle-Tooth" appears in:
Love is a Dog From Hell - pg. 65 - 1977
Run With the Hunted - 1993

ADDENDOM FROM: Poetry-Arts Confidential

Links to a couple of articles about Los Angeles poet francEyE

An article by Al Martinez from THE LOS ANGELES TIMES in 2002, profiling FrancEyE, but focusing more on Bukowski:

Here's francEyE's Wikipedia entry:

Bonus link: A couple of poems of francEyE's printed on Rick Lupert's PoetrySuperHighway site--
Posted by Terry McCarty at 1:11 PM

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