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February 01, 2010


Terence, in a memorial that was appropriately full of funny stories, one of the funniest moments was you saying you were pissed off because now David couldn't read at your memorial.
David Franks left em laughing.

Chris Mason

Terry: You really snagged David's spirit here--and in your terrific poem. Your story about his appropriation of your poem "Excuses" still cracks me up. Thanks for being there to give the man a proper send-off.

Lovely tribute to a friend, T.

But - what do you think? Was he the Poe-Toaster?

That's a fantastic picture of David, it really shows his spirit, and the almost child-like source of his charm. Your post is terrific, too, in every respect -- a truly fitting tribute, excellent links, and, of course, your poem, which was really the heart of Sunday's reading for me. I am just so sorry that I will never see David again.

Dear L:  I doubt if David was the Poe Toaster. It would seem out of character for him to do something so secretive---David loved publicity and attention.

Thanks back to you, David, for organizing the reading.  He would have loved it.

Thanks, Doug. I'm still amazed that "Susan" showed up, as though summoned by the poem you wrote in DF's memory. 

Terry, I am incredibly sad.I knew David in the 70's. It feels as if the era waited till now to be really gone. Gone is a fact now. That poem is wonderful. Nice to see Chris Mason's name above too. Proves even now David leaves people connected.

Thanks, Grace.  I think David will enjoy a robust aesthetic afterlife.

Beautiful post, Terry. The concept of "involuntary collaborations" -- was that David's phrase for it? -- brings me back to the 1970s, like Proust's dunkin' donut.

DL:  It was his phrase (unless, of course, he "borrowed" it from someone).

You have to mourn the loss of anyone who insisted that only the xerox machine at the Woodlawn Social Security office was of high enough quality for xeroxing his genitals.

Can you post a link to your poem "Excuses," Terence? I'd like to see the work Franks appropriated.

AP:  "Excuses" appeared in a long out-of-print 1975 chapbook & doesn't seem to be on line. But I'll email you a Word doc of the poem. (I've been using it during recent high school class visits---getting the kids to write collectively their own version of the poem, an exercise that usually works really well.)   

T- You really nailed it. David was brilliant AND charming.

Terry, thank you for creating this page and for the funny/beautiful poem and presentation last Sunday. You honored David so well, lovingly, honestly. He would have clapped with glee from his seat. And nodded. (Face pink. Smiling his realest smile.) And maybe, too, he'd have shook his head in (phony) protest. Every participant contributed so much to the spirited carnival of a send-off. I felt him in the theater, not in the dumb way people say "he'll always be with us," but because we conjured him for a short while via his unique and powerful work. I miss David very much and always will. His playfulness: He liked to spin fast circles in the Rothko room at the Phillips, to make the colors blur, so that he got severely dizzy and had to be guided by a friend. I'll miss his huge enthusiasm...for books, food, women, animals, water, personal secrets, for his fellow artists, random people strolling the street, people serving his lunch and dinner, people he'd soon call friends, if only for a few minutes. Thanks for helping me feel his shining David-Franks presence last week. I'm very grateful I got a chance to know and love D.

Thanks, Betsy, for your great comment.  And for your part in organizing the event.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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