girl to go

last chance saloon wasn’t its real name

but with the clientele there it surely should’ve been

occasionally a pub crawl mob

or a waif & stray girl gang might drop by

take a drink or two then fly away

I captured one late night stroller

got her talking about her

& she came home with me

she looked around lip curling at the books

on shelves on the floor more beside the chairs

then a puzzled look trying to understand

the music racked & stacked beside the player

anything you’d like to hear?

oh no! she cried that’s not my scene…

I poured her a strong vodka

tell me then what makes you pleased?

she talked on about there were her fave tv shows

& magazines with gossip on movie stars

fashion hints & make up tricks nobody knows

& while she talked I looked at her sad

listened best I could thinking that though

I liked her looks her hair listening to another world

this girl could not last would have to go

because one of us would never get out alive

I was safe here

must’ve been

the brandy

or was it the wine

the beers beforehand?

I was home

had fallen to the floor

was holding on tight

hoping the spinning

would fade soon

not go on continue

through the night

I was safe here

for now clutching carpet

the drinking was done

to get her off my mind

& the last thing I remember

thinking no matter

clutching carpet for now

the world spinning round

this fallen to the floor

I could not get

any lower than this

fall any more

doing the eyework

I hear the line

gives me chills

& I say to those near me

listen to the beauty of this

but they never do

they’ve all got

their own things

going on

some show they watch

people in-fighting

over nothin’ but low dialogue

poorly expressed feelings

& I’m trying here to offer

catch the line

the simplicity aching beauty

how he strings it all together

you me the world

just fine

but no some overpaid

d list celeb

looking good in borrowed frocks

doing the eyework instead of acting

has caught their febrile mind

into the new

the times I hated myself the most

were the days nights times

knowing I had to make changes

confront whatever lay in front

go do something different

leave the woman the job

people I thought were friends

find somewhere new to live

& I’d be hating myself

for doing nothing but thinking

laying plans that never came

putting off the quitting

not wanting the post mortems

having to explain the why

this no longer works for me

wanting to just ghost out of there

leave a cowardly note

key drop through a dead door

but no I knew I’d have to

must stand in front tell my truth

work out the weeks due

try to maintain an interest

but wanting to be long gone

hoping to take what I’d learned

into the new

would go beagling

Me & the farmer’s son

would go beagling

on our days off school

around ten or 11 years old

walking down the stream

into the woods

out into cut down hay pasture

us the dog & a 410 single barrel shotgun

hoping for rabbits

but we’d take on rats if we could

the dog flushing them out

us taking turns on the aim

a day full of nothing

a pack with sandwiches

bottle of fridge cold juice

not expected back ‘til late afternoon

& some days we’d get a rat or two

others the rabbits were ours

just a couple of boys & a beagle

the 410 carried in turns

dreaming of the days

we’d have the double barrel‘12

be hunting for pheasants & grouse

nobody bothered or worried

our people were just glad

we were out of the house

not one question

I never asked

not one question

about the life she had left behind

figuring if she things to say

I had ears open to listen

it was enough for now at least I thought

that we were here together

doing something we both wanted

there are songs I play now

remind me of that time

driving along windows down

music turned up

her hair flying around

sunglasses & lipstick on

looking so beautiful

though nothing we did

nowhere we went

made her happy

every suggestion was turned down

not met with a smile but a frown

no ideas of her very own

except for the drinking

so we did that together for a little while

or at least in parallel play

which was enough for a short time if not enough for a life

it was not up my responsibility to make her happy

all I could do was treat her right

keep a close eye

y’have to watch yourself

keep a close eye

on the things you think

& do

late one night a face in the crowd

reminds of her beauty

& before you know

your mind drifting

to if only buts & maybe’s

to where

you find yourself

idly wondering

if you might

have her number somewhere

& you wake yourself up with a jolt

hey we almost went there

back to the killing floor

opening deaths door

sign above abandon hope all ye who enter

& you look around

see if anybody has noticed

you’d put on the victim jacket once more

but no thankfully

you have good instincts for self-preservation

& no matter her beauty

you never took anything more than once

for your spirit to kill

& then

one day you look up

as she comes into the room

talking about something

you no longer care about

& as she talks on

you try to listen

engage

can see her face

you once considered beautiful

begin to enrage

you’re not listening! she shouts

& you agree yes I’m not

which only adds to her drama

& you say casual as you can

can we not do this please?

but it’s too late for reason

now you’re a bad person

for not listening

& no doubt there will be a litany

list of your failings to come

you get up walk out of the room

out the door down the street

& then

the future behind comes undone

for everything

the king came back from the crapper

newspaper tucked under arm

it’s a no-go area fellas!

bastard! hissed Tony

he knows I can’t go these days

y’tried a stool softener suggested Tom

works for me like clockwork

What the F…? asked Tony

helps you go if you’re y’know stuck

man he says they got pills potions

for everything now

the little blue one! we all shout out

works like a charm every time

there’s sleepers uppers downers

inbetweeners for the blue days

& the fella at the back

(who we’re not quite sure of yet)

says I can get you some

to grow boobs shrink your balls

make you unsure

if its Friday or Monday or just a lost weekend

& the silence deepens

as we’re looking at each other

that kinda went off track quick

eh?

there is no reminding

I go in slow

telling her with patience

kindness

how he hurt her

piecemeal crumb by crumb

because she forgets the wounds

wants still to love him

keep him close

she cannot be a victim

because she is not

that kind of woman

she is strong

a warrior

tough in weft & hue

& then I walk away

in case she says

you don’t like him do you?

& then everything I say

will be reduced blown away

as spite

despite

my wanting nothing from her

but to remain as friends

who can tell truths to each other