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  • Writer's pictureDominic Francis

On Writing

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Usually, writing & perfecting a poem takes me a seemingly inordinate number of hours and days. To create what I consider a decent poem in a somewhat swift manner, I ordinarily make conscious barters with my ego... part of me silently declaims "this may be the best thing you have ever written!", while the other part says "this is just another poem that no-one will ever read... you're rubbish! Better up your game!".

The older I grow the more I recognise that art cannot be created in a vacuum. [Existence itself is near infinite! It just takes one step here or there in the right or wrong direction to change the course of your destiny forever… and – remember- "you might think you want something, but you don’t!"]

…. we can try to prophesise, but we can never fully anticipate the future -- although the word 'humanity' implies a shared moral code and it’s my informed opinion that whatever’s happening now is a result of its past, it's "too early to tell" the impact of yesterday or even, according to Zhou Enlai, the effects of the French revolution. Essentially it's my philosophy that while Everything may be meaningless, Everything still has a root cause.

"Roll"*, a ‘quick-slow’ poem-song that took 5 hours in total to write and record, represents a conscious combination of incessant rhyming (Bob Dylan's 'It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding' comes to mind), my desire to condense a novel into a page-long poem (kind of like Dylan's 'Tangled Up In Blue', to continue the analogy), and my want to transpose a series of unrelated events into a good romantic-comedy (as 'Ronaldo and Clara' should have been!). I use Bob Dylan’s work as an example because, other than Haruki Murakami and possibly Leonard Cohen, I have spent the most time enjoying Dylan’s work [I fell asleep at his London concert in 2008 or so because I found it pretty boring & I was very tired from school, but I also saw him at Hop Farm in 2010… you can see me dancing a bit & getting paranoid about being filmed & followed but in the white shirt and my friend’s hat in this video [ – it was an unforgettable experience, the music radiated a simultaneously timid yet assured magic… and I like how he changes the original word “foes” to “folks”!]. I feel that each piece of Dylan’s canon is usually somewhat stylistically divergent from the others... perhaps there’s going to alway be a piece in his canon which forms is vaguely similar to any piece of poetry I'll write for a while. But the anti-psychotics available to me at this point are even more potent now than they were in the 60s, too, hah ;)

Anyway, even my writings that aren’t inspired by actual real-life occurrences contain a part of the heart of who I was and what I wanted to say at that particular time. A running theme is an aspiration for a specific idyll or paradisical state that’s by its nature unsustainable.

I wanted to sing “Twice the Price of Paradise” ** after I had written the words, which took me about five or more hours work every day for a third of last year. The poem once had 9000 words, inspired by and inspiring the ‘Paradise City’ section of my upcoming prose project. Originally, I had wanted to create a piece similar to Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’ while using the somewhat manic style of rhyming I vaguely hope to one day be known for. I have such fond memories of Coleridge’s hallucinogenic poem, though I never studied it at school. Every time I reread the piece, I feel a sense of happily bewildered wonderment.

Here are some links to some writers that I want to explore further alongside my exploration of my own imagination/ and the fantastic & addictive fiction of

Colleen Hoover.

Here is a poem that I wrote in the early hours of this morning.

Yawning Light

By Dominic Francis

So, though we know it’s true that I loved you, How could I know I love what I don’t know?

I learned not to hate your state of elated blue, And your vow was the content curse of snow!

I can reach for you here in my dreams now, But you seem to be on another beach far away. I still seem to adore each pore of your eyebrow, But the heathen of night and I dream of day!

When there are happy tears in my mornings, Why do I miss you again when it turns night? Am I yearning after the years the dawn sings,

Yet spurning the burning of its yawning light?

Sometimes it’s just easier to feel alone, Especially when you know the truth is true. I want to forget what’s really set in stone, But only if that feeling by fluke includes you!

Perhaps I’m heading for a long-lost Winter, Or I’ve taken the hint and accepted that you’re gone. I’ll no longer look for you in every single splinter, But is every single splinter I’ve seen so wrong?!

When there are happy tears in my mornings, Why do I miss you again when it turns night? Am I yearning after the years the dawn sings,

And spurning the burning of the yawning light?

I’m going under the tundra again soon -- I’ll see the rainbow flowing any old moon. You didn’t exactly bore me with your tune, Yet then again in law I am but another loon!

I loved your eyes, but I never saw them cry… Maybe you shed one or didn’t shed any at all. Something inside says that even angels lie, But even the dead must ride to follow the call!

When there are happy tears in my mornings, Why do I miss you again when it turns night? Am I yearning after the years the dawn sings,

And spurning the burning of the yawning light?

Below is a poem I’ve revised over the past month or so and hope to complete in the studio on Thursday.

I Think I Think by Dominic Francis

As long as I hear the song of your heartbeat

And even as tomorrow evening completes

The sorrow that yesterday just can't defeat,

Three is okay too but you and me is a treat.

I’d hobble on crutches down Jealousy Street again

To be touched by the heat of love in a repeat of 2010.

If my groove depletes like my Naked Smoothie drink,

You were cheated by a sacred dream I think I think...

I ain’t as clever as the saint but you're equally as dense

And hence the forever of now never quite felt so immense.

O, how your control over my soul stopped making sense!

But I couldn't be fucked holy sitting on a shitting ivory fence.

I know that you requited my real feel, if only in past tense...

Yet when nonsense met pretence, they shared two cents.

I remember the beauty of earthly heaven and its infinite stink...

As I fatten, you thin… I'll drink to that and think of you in ink!

Which hidden dove forbid us from the room up above?

Was our youth misspent in the unrented truth of love?

I married a spicy Bombay sandwich at Camden's Coffee Café,

And the gun of language carried me to the one who gave me a jay.

The fool can’t unlearn the rules of school they brought him on a tray,

But the soul’s duality may fool him with the gym or whole buffet of cliché.

I regret how the forgetful future now turns into yearning for today,

But sex is like the ego (I know it!) and the next game is why we play.

Today always burns the poet, yet the good God never led me astray…

I would hope God straightens Satan anyway until both earn their grey.

The ancients tested the patience of our dove again,

As the stars heated the saddest night from far above.

Your glove tight on mine was the maddest treat then,

Back when you excited my blackest light with love.

You promised my seamen splendorous adventures by dressing them for glory,

But you set fire to my confessional corny poem in an emotionless ocean of saucy.

Though my allegory sits on your shelf next to the other sexy texts of purgatory,

I slowly knit a purled world of self in hope of being hurled into the lovers’ story.

The past goes so fast that the future stays within lasting ink.

If you are blue, today is too, so renew your think with a blink. I used to think I was some kind of crucifix until you fixed me a drink.

You confused me with your winking mind but then I felt nothing blink.


By Dominic Francis

She has a skinny build & looks that could kill; She is abused for a living, cooking at the grill. He is famed from Duluth to Libya to Brazil. He is a fulfilled masseuse, with years of skill They sit together on a plane and both get ill. He gives him a shiatsu and she offers him a pill. He refuses & she muses on another role she could fill… out of goodwill and for the thrill…. and two lovers roll down that hill.

They reside together on the lakefront:

If there’s a joke, they are not the brunt: He worships her giving nature & cunt, And they party under the midnight sun. Neither of them ever adopt a front, And they multiply, bearing two little ones. But children grow up and so his fathering goal is done… he rolls himself a blunt… he loves her huntress soul & those runts.

He fantasises of his wife, eyes of onion: He converts the basement into a dungeon. He works on it day & night, sober or drunken: He wants it to appear medieval & sunken. They stay there for a week, aroma pungent: Parts of man & woman run out of suction. Amid the destruction, she rolls & buns one for fun.... but I’m not one to judge in love & war…. for they reverse rolls like Russians.

They live there together until one day they die: They die an hour apart but who can say why? Their bodies are found entwined in July: The mailman had a cry & so did I. In lake-town their death is beautified: But some wise-guy objected it was self-satisfied. Be warned, even if you roll Thai… relinquishing control to a woman could be goodbye… for the soul isn’t always an ally.


Ain’t it just our shoddy luck to be stuck in one crappy body when we could be oddly happy in another?!

If you discover the sleazy city of spirits in the centre of the world, please promise me you won’t tell Big Brother.

Every kiss in that abyss is elephant-bliss and it’s there one uncovers God is the son of Satan’s part-time lover.

The Earth’s core is at war with itself, and they say God started it by tampering with the farts of your mother.

Hundreds of heads invaded my heart on Superbowl Sunday.

I traded belief in a dead deity for reefer and a soul on Monday.

If either of us should leave, the other would be crazy to stay.

I worked this hard when I was young so I could be this lazy one day.

Whatever the present comprises, it’s an atom of forever.

For twice the price of Paradise, you can fly like the weather.

The government bought a law against draw, but we scored hench fries and French highs from Kevin’s Pies.

Together we fought a war against sleep with the breathless parakeet Queen and her seventeen butterflies.

I thought I saw the meaning of death scrawled obscenely small on the wall between Heaven’s gleaming eyes.

Isabel smelt swell as a rebel then, and I fell under her spell again as plasticine thunder flowered at sunrise.

Mona Lisa weeps for freedom as her soul sleeps frozen in painted slime.

See the guards feed Mona Lisa pizza drenched in prose and saintly lime.

Nothing does everything at once because everything’s the opposite of time.

Your destiny awaits you à la Seine, where the bells of liberty chime.

Another long day defeated; another song half-completed.

For twice the price of Paradise, the past can be repeated.

Now reddened rain leaps onto dead-end streets, and a clockwork centaur in paradoxical sleep dreams of dinosaurs.

Female mail men eat nuclear snails and secrete microbe priests who feast on the bacterial spores of giant Labradors.

When Christ burns his daughter or returns from the water, God shall be uncrucified and there will be no more wars.

I had my sordid afternoon many moons away from today, and somehow soon as now I trust you must too have yours.

“The only moment worth having,” your friend sensuously breathes, “is one that you can readily repeat.”

Expect the head of your affection to meet a perfect defeat soon as she encloses your love in her moon-angel-feet.

Downstairs on the streets, an orphan soldier swears that God above is older than forever yet even more obsolete.

You never supposed you’d sever your grip on the past, yet at last the present feels pleasantly complete. Nothing is only an illusory goal, and so is the semblance of control.

But the rose-tinted lover that led you to bed still has a mole.

And the prose of the dead mother in your head still has a soul.

And a whole shoal of tadpoles still stroll round your fishbowl.

For twice the price of Paradise, you can fly like the fucking weather.

For twice the price of Paradise, you can be stuck here forever.

The happy cow teaches the art of salvation to the heart of each nation with her drum now.

The happy cow topples your golden house of crumbs like a needle to the tongue now.

The happy cow tells the story of how purgatory freed her, yet she longs for the numb now.

One hand needs hers, nothing eats her, and her soul speedily leaps up to the sun now.

Insanity may be the profanity of the hidden soul I could not hide,

And today my schizophrenic suicide is inscribed upon my limping stride.

Because I forgot that you lied and because the angles of your angels were my guide,

My dreams seemed so shot that my ego slowly rotted until it died…

When shit hit the fan, it was not as if I never tried or cried, though, was it, man?

I hallucinate ancient countries there on a chair where electric men swear or say prayers after they hunt.

I seem to be dreaming a dream while dreaming a dream, so I scream, “God, I see through your front!”

Isabel wakes with a Salvation Army grunt and calmly administers the medication of a daybreak blunt.

As my eyes feels atom of Infinity from really far away, every day I die to give this living ordeal a real punt.

If you don’t know why it’s “do or die”, then try “now or never”.

For twice the price of Paradise, you can be leathered forever.

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