poor ideas

I did it the once
swore to never
do it again
on my knees
begging to stay
& now
I’d not give you the time of day
you had something
in the palm of your hand
crushed it
let it fall to the floor
& now
If I cannot forgive
I despise for the lie
you dangled
how you hid the truth
the who you really were
wanted me to hold
blame for
the worse of it
was that I swore
to never
do that again
that’s the despise
the warp
I allowed you to build in me

a from e

I don’t know my arse
from my elbow
oh they’ll tell you
but in you I found
a true
that I can
sometimes forget
& that’s cause
I need time
to get my shit together
may not
be wide awake
& you too
can bring the pain
that loving brings
forget forgiveness
is what we forget

Shack job

I met her in the street
& we found a dead space to do it
& I lost track of her after that
tho’ I remember well
her glue on my thigh.
Years later
we met in the street
& she wanted it again
& I remembered her glue
We went at it
it was kind of good
she got me to move in
what little I had to shift
some records, papers n books
& the days passed
& we laid in bed
listening to the rain
watching for the sun
we went at in the outdoors
any place we could
& head back to hers
& I’d watch her eat
my head was elsewhere
but that didn’t matter much
until the day she said:
this place don’t pay for itself
& I came to with a jolt
& what little I had to shift
went the other way
there would be another
who might glue me to her thigh

Just let the mystery be

An entire buttersweet
from each generation
set aside
Dotty English Ladies
barking at moons
railing to injustices
only they fathom
or possibly name
I’ve liked some of them
as a species
have loved fewer
in ways too twisted
to reveal
anywhere else than
their sacred
pillow’d beds
in halls of mourning
hallowed rooms
bursting with ghosts
spirally creating
more urge
by aching
passing before them
I found them
In darkened corners
slow tears rolling
to space
coutoure’d clothes
in stunning inarticulacy
unlike the later
cleaving doors
proposed orderly
where they landed
way beyond my ken
for I shared them
such short times
whether I pushed them
along lofty panic’d ledges
or created
joy’d escapes
only they
as then
as ever
as always
will know


Some of the best things
don’t always start out that way
stumbling drunk on the pavement
was it the drugs?
and lost in my little world
thinking if anything
it would end that day
I see you searching
for me in newer lovers
it’s a stretch to remember
words you used to put
the pain deep into me
cars were beeping
to wake me right up
and all I wanted
was to sleep with you
holding on to the past
you know how it ended
I see you keeping
to your end of the street
but it’s still so hard
to give my thank you’s
the closing of that door
you made plain your pity
as I see your thin raincoat
you made your imperfect storm.

Crazy Kid

I wandered the streets
whenever I could
all that I knew
my momma was gone
wasn’t ever coming back
and everybody hated me
I was listening in
honing my homing signals
I even got close
to where she was
a couple of times
but no connection.
I was three, four
picking fights
with bigger kids
windmilling fists
into their soft bellies
they’d put a wire litter basket
over me
holding me prisoner
or they’d see me coming
‘its that crazy kid’
and run away.
The even older kids
would let me be
their girls would comb my hair
and I’d feel that
as love
we’d build volcanoes
in the sand pit
great hollowed out piles of sand
filled with trash
set it on fire
there’s a metaphor right there.

scorned beef

She tells people
I beat her black & blue
I reneged on the deal
I stopped her being her
I am a charming man with ‘issues’
friends turned away
and that made me glad
who needs friends like these
work got shut down
and that made me sad
I had thought her better than that
you can beat a man
take away his pride
take away his sleazy friends
but to hurt his pocket
man, that’s snide
I’m sure I wasn’t always good
but a cheating woman
doesn’t deserve nice
or me to stick around
a lying woman doesn’t get
my love
my trust
a woman scorned
they say
without thinking
there may be a reason
she is scorned.


I am beyond fixing now
tho’ I roll the dice
now & then
to see
if the odds’ve changed
they don’t
it is what it is
there was therapy
games people play
searches for love
that ended in lust
sessions with strangers
paid in blood money
and here
the finished product
not much different
than the original model

That’s the Spirit

Sometimes, things in life just cohere, come together. I’d been working in a hostel, sleeping there three nights a week, it was a caretaker role. Ten ‘til eight the next morning, keeping a watchful eye in case of fire, fights between residents and opportunists who would try to take advantage of the vulnerable residents. A position of great but no powers. This isn’t about them.
I’d been there about seven years, starting in my student days where the quiet over-nights gave time to write essays and the dissertation. My room was a sparse twelve by eight, single bed, bedside locker, small wardrobe and a sink. And to emphasise its utility they kept the mops and vacuum cleaners in there too.
In the latter years I’d had disturbed nights, waking to my room full of smoke that dis-appeared as I blinked myself awake. Slight sounds of crying that too evaporated as I woke and sought where they came from. These I accepted as single incidents until the night I heard a voice.
The voice was low, a murmur against the night: ‘I want my daughter, I don’t know where she is, please help’ and that put the willies in me, now, today, I feel a shiver, like I did back then. I was more than a bit scared. I got out of bed, put my pants on, checked the corridors: nothing. Went back to bed. I didn’t hear the voice until a few weeks later, the same message, sounds of crying and would wake up, put the light on and it would be gone. I didn’t tell my work colleagues, thinking that they may think me worthy of medication.
The coming together was with one of my students-I’d gone from being the student to teaching. Derek was a great oddball, a flaming haired torrent of odd ideas and platitudes, he’d always be at the centre of discussions on life, its meanings and what it all meant. He was a spiritualist who held the notion that all religions held but a splinter of the original diamond that was the truth. He was great fun but you wouldn’t want to be alone with him in the kitchen at a party.
Eventually I told him of the events at my hostel. He offered to bring his posse to try to help, I mulled this over, knowing my employers would not appreciate such a group visit, so he suggested I try to respond to the voice. She spoke again some nights later, so I asked her what she wanted and she cried more, saying she’d lost her daughter in the war and did not know how to find her. It is an odd feeling, in the middle of the night, talking to the air, not knowing if you are indeed quite mad, hearing a disembodied voice from 50+ years ago telling tales of the war and death. I needed help.
Derek and his odd friends arrived late one night-I felt I had to ensure all residents would be unaware of this visit and not just to be sure my employers would not find out.
They sat in a circle of five as I sat on my bed observing. They settled themselves and then began offering to help. It took a while and then they called to her, called her to them, then called her to the light. It has become a cliché now, the calling to the light, but in that moment, I understood that her journey was incomplete and she needed to move on. It was odd, I was observer and involved, apart yet immersed and as they called her, I suddenly felt her pass through me and into their circle and then…gone.
They sat a while longer. We talked, I gave them my thanks and they gave theirs to me for giving them chance to help a lost wandering soul. After that there were no more disturbances, no more smoke, voices or restless feelings. Derek offered me a space in his group, a place to develop my clair‘audience’ my ability to hear voices. I went to see if I did have something but seemed to have nothing, except at the end we sat and waited to see if we had any ‘messages’ for others in the group. I felt an urge to tell one woman that her house contract would fall through that the seller was not to be trusted. It meant nothing to her. Other oddments too fell on unwanted ears. Oh well eh?
The job at the hostel came to an end soon after that, I had a quiet leaving party until my colleague who slept there the nights I didn’t, told me of her disrupted nights, of sounds, lights and fear. How she hadn’t slept in that room for over a year. I felt a re-lief that It wasn’t just me and told her of Derek and his ghostbusters and that it was over. She hugged me, said thanks, she too feeling absolved of madness.
Later I told Derek of this and he looked at me oddly, ‘you still doubt?’ he said and shrugged to let me know that it was weirder to ignore this truth than holding conven-tional views.
‘By the way’ he later continued ‘you know your messages in that group? The ones that nobody could take? We met the following week and talked about them, you were about ninety degrees out on the people you gave them to!’ I never went back to that group, the need, the pull was not there, what happened next is another day, another story.

The sentiment of men

He was my mentor
in my job
my life
I was a snot nosed brat
thinking that
If I couldn’t fuck it
I could fight it
& sometimes both
he was patient
if I tried
if I didn’t
& I learned
many times
the hard way
that respect
can be a
two way
one way street
then a ginger kitten
I couldn’t have cared less
much like the care
I had for me then
he held it
stroked the thing
fed her
& she became part
of our team
I’d tease him
about tiddles
until his bite
there was the operation
the collar
flea powders
worming ceremony
we all chipped in
she settled
& he convinced the boss
it was a mouser
morale thing
the day
she got run over
& he
took her to the vet
to ease her pain
& I
stood with him
as he buried her
beneath a tree
& we never
spoke of her again
in words
out loud