Christopher Franke at Bela Dubby in Lakewood, Ohio on 17 November 2008
[photo by Jesus Crisis]


Did you ask me,
“What do I need
to become a poet?”
My nearsighted tongue
might say, “Get damn angry,
then learn to love.”
But what is that!

In what it is
that I have said,
I tried to learn
by adding to,
I tried to learn
by taking away.

Plato might have said,
poets are blind,
their words are dumb.
Do we know love
by what love is not?
And that which any call
would any call a poem?

* * * * *

Poem by Christopher Franke — reproduced here with the author’s permission
Originally appeared in the chapbook
frankeana/miscellangy [Cleveland: deciduous / wordedprint]

For a video of Chris Franke’s featured reading during the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour in August 2008, visit

Cleveland’s Christopher Franke is founder of Deciduous Press and author of collections including (but not limited to) Paren’s Thesis, frankeana/miscellangy, Routines, and =5

For more Franke poetry see the Cleveland Poetry Archive, ArtCrimes, The City Poetry 5, and