You can

You can be really miserable

she says

oh don’t hold back, ses I

spit it all out

anything you need to say

well, you don’t like going to places

meeting up with people, doing things

ok, where do you want to go?

I’d like to go dancing

like we used to….

& what happened to that crowd?

I ask quietly

she knows the answer

much as I do

but she needs to think about it

well, they turned out to be a crowd of shits

having affairs with each other

that or being pissheads

drunk all the time

& then fighting

I hated it, them

that’s people for you, I say

is why I prefer ‘em in small doses

give ‘em a half chance

& they will fuck anything

over or up…

so we go dancing

wiggle our asses to sounds

have a few drinks

& the first sign of clowns

we slip away

& she is the first to say

that guy drunk kept bumping into me

& you were throwing looks at that slut

in that very tight see thru’ dress

I had a good mind to give her a slap or two

& I’m driving in the dark

a half smile on my lips

pleased she can’t see my mood

as she goes on

& on

well, babe

now you know why I’m so miserable

people will always fuck up a good time

she falls silent about then

which makes the drive home easier

we get back

& while she makes drinks

I put good music on the player

take her hands

& we dance a while

feeling her falling into me

things are ok again

for a time anyway

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love?

You got to hurry

watch out

let me tell you if I can

there are many ways

for a soul to get trapped

the obvious ones the government

make no bones telling you about

but that don’t stop them raising taxes

making money from yours

others

misery

putting people in jail

while they tell you to love your brother

where is the love in that?

To do

Early morning with the sun still low

walking in a difficult part of town

& already I was picking up unwanted attention

an old man in a wheelchair

where you goin’ son?

& I tell him I’m on a mission

‘cos I got shit to do

he nods sagely at this

yeah, I getcha, have a good day

might you have some change for a coffee?

& I go through my pockets with nothing rattlin’

next time, my friend, next time ok?

& he wheels away tutting at my poverty

a couple of streets over & I’m getting warm

from the sun & from the location

it’s around here somewhere I think

& then spot my car in the distance

as I get closer I see the kids playing hockey

the goal is between my car & the one in front

they watch me shamble up patting my pockets

grumbling to myself they got to be somewhere

the kids eye me up wondering if I’m worth the fun

I find my keys & make a bee line for my battered ride

open the door check everything is just ok inside

it turns over fires first time settles into idle

as the biggest kid taps the window tap tap tap

I open it just a little casual nice n slow

Yeah? I say can I help you at all?

Yeah, he says, we been looking after your car

& we’d be happy if you can show a little appreciation

so I do the patting my pockets show all over again

next time fellas ok? I ain’t got nothin’ today

but next time ok? sorry I can’t stop n chat but

I got shit to do & with that I rolled away thinking

I got to be more careful where I park my car

next time

I got shit to do

Late night stories

I got a motor

a frame

& some bits n pieces

i said

mebbe its time to build

that long chop I’ve always wanted

hey, I can pitch in

he says

& I know a guy good at electrics

& later it seems

you are the only one

who remembers this

the late night conversation

when everything is in bits

there at your feet

trying to remember

which goes where

but they pull through

after some nagging

unsubtle reminders

& bribes of beer

& you wait for them

to tell their late night story

& try to forget

the details

but you won’t

Is why

& you wonder

is it blue mean guilt guiding the pen

keeps the keyboard clacking

a dry eyed love for the ones gone before

cooled spite in the unsure of getting even

putting down in word the injustices

scarring the years gone by

some settling of rotten old scores

held deep in the ever burnt chilled heart

letting the mind wander

in darker valleys after the storms pass

or the building of warm memories

there half dozing by the cosy fire

thinking on what was, wasn’t

could & will never be

& the questions keep on coming

is why

An incurious morality

they who would be better

than you

you know them well by now

the people who tell you over

about what you should be thinking

about everything anything at all

have an incurious morality

when it comes to you

being The Enemy

then

it is good for the cause

to slander, lie, invent

stories to malign your presence

& all this of course

is for your

grand societies betterment

look for the ends brothers & sisters

forget the means

being mean

forgo the rule of law

innocent until proven guilty

this swine doesn’t deserve that

he is guilty, guilty, guilty

because we say so

& we know better than you

come on & join the bandwagon

the ride is free for all

unless….

you choose to think differently

Assholes

usually it’s about day three

in transient jobs

week two in more permanent work

same M O though

somebody will arrive alongside

create general chit chat

about how you settlin’ in?

then their story: been here twenty years

oh how its changed

as you wait for the asshole line to come

you need to be careful here

lots of assholes about

her in reception, what a cow eh?

had four abortions so far

if you got needs, there’s your go to

the foreman is a juicer, you’ll see

he’ll wander off about 12 for an hour

go top up his levels

bob who you’re working with needs watching

be careful around him

cos he snitches to the boss

the boss now he’s a piece of work

he fucks boys so don’t be here late

in case he thinks you may be that way too

harry in the next line along is a thief

so don’t leave nothing lying around

or it’ll be gone

& sue he works with drinks on the job

you’ll see her slope to dark corners

fiddle with her coat & bag

sway on her way back

once she got so whacked it was funny

watching her try n’ catch up

& that rob will talk about you behind your back

you need to watch what you say around him

he will climb over you to get promoted

& this will go on & on

until all assholes are tallied

& me?

they will say

with a practised look straight into the eyes

I’m your friend

If you need anything just let me know

& you wonder

how you will get added to the lexicon

in the asshole line