bog roll bingo blues

the silly things you do

as a couple

to play games

fill the mundane

we’d play bog roll bingo

the rules

anything less than 3 squares of TP left

& YOU

have to change the toilet roll

if YOU find 3 or more squares left

& use those

the changing will be down to you

which trumps that stupid game

of toilet seat up or down

you men leave it up complaint

you women as strong independent thinkers

can put it down response

those games lead to fights

bog roll bingo has yet to do this

so far…

her songs

she told me late one night

were all about her relationships with men

her absent father who then died early

leaving her fully abandoned

the fellas she met while on the road

at gigs between venues musician parties

some she lived with for a little while

& a few she truly loved

accepting their frailties with booze the drugs

but she did not once tell of her own frailties

except for her love of the men with these

thinking her songs were enough

to fill in the gaps

for just a little while

moments of obliteration

to take the pain away

for just a little while

I get it I got it

watching the fetish movies

& seeing understanding

the attempts at obliteration

of who what how they were

in roles the clothes

latex rubber nylon satins

paint masks wigs bondage

diapers whips chains rope

obliterating their existence

searching for the next high

feeling being in this

who they really are

not this other being

drab in the day to day

is that

the hardest lesson

I ever learned

after the one about having to earn a living

is that

organisations firms companies

do not exist to serve your needs

but their own

I think it was Weber on bureaucracy

wrote it first & best

but to the boy me starting out

the onset of this is how we do things here

always have always will

was a puzzle I could not disentangle

being that I could see easier ways

simpler ways to resolve the tasks given

to be told these notions

were above my pay grade

not in your remit

it was then I understood

my hardest lesson

this was why

so many people died tired

cynical downtrodden

the system set up to serve

had instead killed them

won

sanforized

everything seemed to need effort then

buying my first Levi’s

before sanforized became a trademark

having to sit in a tub of hot water

while they shrank to fit

the dark dye staining legs the tub

upsetting mothers everywhere

needing to travel next town city over

to find the right shirt coat

even socks had to be the right kind

as did the shoes

finding ox blood cherry polish

for the doctor martens

all busy work for this growing boy

determined to be a fashion victim

been & gone

she will say the opposite in polite company

but she don’t like men

oh there will be a husband lover or two

been & gone

but the truth hangs there as shadow

as she bristles at any supposed slight

on the plight of women

there appears for her to be no travails

any slight thing might ail

the perfect world of the conniving boys

& sly dog that I am

I will prod here & there for the fun

just to keep her awake

on her toes slowing her excitement

of the black & white world

she is living in

her exasperation comes in slow waves

but she does

keep coming back for more

popularity of the thinnest kind

I was popular for a little while

living among the non-payers of rent

amiable low life’s breeders mouth breathers

part time junkies occasional workers

having found an endless supply of nettles

in the weeeded patches used to empty dogs

these I turned into soft bubble nettle wine

had a glass row of jars going pop pop pop

when one was ready

there’d be a queue at the door

have you got?

I’d fill their jars for supposed favours to come

& then the nettles turned brown

the door stopped getting knocked

of course there were other possibilities

I could have explored for makings

but I was enjoying the peace

the quiet more

visit

she came around bringing music to play

& I tried to say thank you just not today

words which did not sit well

I could feel the disappointment

roil off her in viscous hot waves

think she had in her mind I was hers to play

got stuff going on I said not good company

that’s ok sugar she offered I can take care of your needs

& though I knew full well not to let her in thru’ the door

she was already most of the way in looking around

we played the music rolled papers smoked ourselves out

sometime a lot later she stroked my head suggested

hey honey I can love you better in bed

so we wandered along got ourselves snuggled warm

& she left quiet sometime after midnight with not a word

leaving me further empty with more now to wish regret

not a wasted day but being alone is not about others care

leaving just a man with more evidence no spine enough

to face alone down what he needs to own

that little thing we try not to call shame

size 36 blue jeans

standing at the bar

next to me minding my own

fella his girl & his dad who says

you’re putting on the pounds son

thanks Dad but I’m still a size 36 waist

no you’re not look at mine

lifting his jacket to show his leather belt

blue jeans high up on his waist

these are 34 waist your 36’s are down there

hanging low on your hips not your gut

to be up like mine they need be 38’s at least

thanks Dad thanks a bunch

hey I’m on your side he said because

plus 36 is when the diabetes begins to happen

there was quiet for a minute maybe two

hey Dad at least I got a backside

not that flat thing you call an ass

about then I went back

to minding my own

some wedding party

you know I didn’t want to go

some wedding party

hundreds of miles away end of a working day

setting off in her old car hoping it would make it

when we arrived I knew nobody there

she knew the bride couple of the ‘maids

set about gossiping getting up to date

while I headed for the free bar

worked on getting the knots out

letting the work the miles driven

slowly begin easing their way away

from tired stretched cramped muscles

these fellas I didn’t know all around me

talking salaries houses being bought or sold

new cars new lives new wives new this new that

did my best to let the prattle wash over

feeling calm settle into these tired bones of old

& later she came over full of smiles

hey you settling in making new friends?

I waved a hand around at the fools

me ‘n the guys are getting on just fine

howsabout you?

& she talked away for a long time

but if you were to ask me about any fine detail

I could not repeat a word except maybe

I love weddings y’know?

which I refused to take as a hint

tho’ I did nod along every now & then

about how beautiful the bride the maids

handsome the new groom was

what a great time we were having

figuring right now was not a good time

for truths