renters

we

everybody

you have ever known

are all

renters

nothing you think you own

have surrounding you now

will go with you

when you do go

your house your books

furniture music collection

will stay here

will be used by others

given to thrift

sold at auction

passed on to family members

may be even trashed as worth nothing

so I’d recommend

you love all of this while you can

renter

x

matisse

there was something

matisse

about her

& me too

which is why

I guess

we had atttractions

the too dark hair

eyes

not knowing clear

our fathers

mothers

any family for that matter

she had details

on her adoptives

their lack of sex life

which I felt

as too much information

meant their need to adopt

of her & her sister

from another mother father

which helped her

understand my people

we were just

one matisse finding another

which only

kind of girl

your mother warned against

which only

made her them more attractive

the type

who would do the things you wanted

& had ideas

of their very very twisted own

we had family lunch

one long summer afternoon

& as mother left

she was waving goodbye

out the window

c’mon she said do me now

as I too waved goodbye

feeling the excitement & lust

transgression

of being in my lover

waving goodbye to mother

oh so fine & sweet a sin

so rare to find

longest time

looking today along the shelf

finding a dusted book

I’d read so long ago

her inscription inside fly leaf

inspired me to wonder on her

did she ever get to understand

that I was not her enemy?

& just how long did it take

for her coven of haters

to disband?

because y’know

some people

just never get there at all

not even in the longest time

let out a sigh

I did this to me

she was beautiful in so many ways

that it did not matter

she was another mans wife

I took the line hook & sinker

that all of that was over

dived right in for all my days

took her wandering in spain

where she became

you guessed it

more than a bit of a pain

everything was wrong

food drink heat light travelling

& of course me I was the wrongest of all

realising I could never make her mine

sitting in a bar glass in hand

understanding

me not she had done this to me

I’d ignored all warning signs

& all I had to do now

was to get me out of the mess

I had created over again

escape with all limbs intact

tho’ peace of mind might be a stretch

get her back home where she belonged

& me to some place I might feel safe

could sit back learn something try over

let out a sigh

Bang

about sixty miles out

there’s a pull in food truck

looking after the truckers farmers

in that remote spot

Me & my brother from another

meet up there

him from the north me from the south

in cold weather to get warmth

in bright days to ease

& most times we sit in silence

we go way back when

& have not got much to say now

after we’ve done the niceties

until Bang turns up

an old beat-up pick hard shell over

will drive in & the driver flips the tail gate

sitting there are ten or dozen gun dogs

spaniels of many colours sizes

they won’t move because they are trained

but one comes as he calls: Bang

a beautiful black cocker springer mix

Bang runs all around us excited

while the driver gets his coffee

so we end up throwing sticks

vying for the attention the fun

of Bang

& we will of course take pictures

to show our women

for them to coo over

which they don’t do much these days

for us

would burn me down

these two fellas

I hold as close friends

who I will never introduce

one to the other

hanging out opposite ends

of most things in life

I’m sure if they met

some function wedding thing

they’d nod polite

then move away quick

yet me in the middle

I think they are so alike

similar sense of humour

taking life as quite the joke

but that politics thing

takes away the energy

crucifies the middle ground

which is why I’ll never

get them to meet up

each would demand allegiance

for their causes

would burn me down

without a murmur

a sound

the path

could be one of the older

staid rhyming bucolics

keeping score

spring summer winter

recorder autumn of life

I read them all

thought some to be a bore

or the path of the Plath

feeling too much

expressing disappointment

life nothing but a chore

taking the early bath

or the beats

the smoking appealed

wearing black talking shit more

not working just thinking

enlightenment at last

but no

the others hanging out

would be are such a faff

all this for trying to find

my original voice

as the koan almost said

the keeping it real

not going for laughs

proper old

she is proper old now

where only her needs are important

& forgetful too

lashing out that we won’t let her drive

tho’ we ask her to recognise

what she can see can’t see

whether she has the ability any more

when we leave she asks why?

like a petulant child

forced to be alone

forced by circumstance

& there is no recognition of others needs

those of work family life respite

as everything now comes to her door

groceries meals visitors

when we take her out

the wind is too cold

it is too hot too many people

& from somewhere I recall

the koan:

how does one develop tolerance

for the intolerant?

I don’t know I think

but I’m certainly being taught

as a dancer

they remember you

as a dancer

great energy on the dancefloor

& I remember you coming to see us

a thing you’d not done

for a long long time

talking of sorting loose ends

putting a new tomorrow in place

& I read somewhere

the idea that people

in the last six months of their lives

work to create sense

seek out old friends

putting everything in order

& tho’ I did not see it then

I see it now

you didn’t know

your time was coming

the building bridges making amends

was your own sweet way

of saying au’voir

until we meet again