To go out on any night
find a cheap slut needing highs
a friend with coke
anybody with coke is a friend
remember that, its useful
especially when you go on holiday
and only you are holding.
to go out on any night
get roaring paint the town drunk
& fight the beer bar bully in the alley
just because you can
& you want to, too
the coke says so
you wind up with a dentist
watching the tv
& whining
there’s nothing to see
when you could be out
on any night
fucking in the dark
because that’s how you love it
dank, dirty, delightful
instead you sip tea
& wonder
you’ve still got that number
that special number
& say
If you’re holding baby
I can suck it like I used to
but no
Its work in the a.m.
an early start
another day of the dead
we’re out here waiting
& that’s enough
of a crutch for you
to limp along the groove
while others make choices
out on any night.

only you

She will tell you it’s you
& only you
& then
fuck some stranger
she can
& you know its over
& you know you will
fuck her again

There comes a time
when you’re out
& she makes a move
& you don’t really know
whether to warn him
feel sad
feel sorry
that again
she will fuck a pleasant stranger
he will look at you
like he has won big
& you want to offer a prize
& a fluffy toy is not enough
nobody wins in slut games

This rumbles on
for a year past the time
I should’ve walked
killed the bitch
but the memory
of what was
& could be again
& that I felt something
like love
only colder
held me on
until I’d learned
every bitter twisted lesson
all the traps, potholes
she could put in my way
I wasn’t free of her
I was free of me.


You smell
they told me
& well
it must be true
I catch wind of it
when I return to a room
I’ve been in
I guess I must like it
a pig in its own shit
who cares?
they have no armpits
to trouble them
(except me)
maybe they bathe
in different streams
tubs, showers, sinks
spending bigger fortunes
for artificial pongs
deodorants, colognes, perfumes
to disguise
who they really are
not that I lay claim distinction
they bestow on me
Neil Benbow
they say
and then sniff the air.

quite unwise

Being quite unwise
in the wiles
of women & love
I thought them unbalanced
they have that
smile & tilt
to their head
that someone
somehow, taught
a come on
a sexual invitation
finding myself
tilting my own head
to look into
the same distance
but nope
I was missing

In Absentia

She was talking to them, engrossed in a conversation about noth-ing much except as conversation. It was then that I spotted IT…
The fatal flaw, The minor blemish, The look which would disfigure her for ever…
With another a tooth extruding crookedly. Another the glint of sun from her spectacles as she awoke from an afternoon nap. Yet an-other, a crooked smile. At first minor detractions from their beauty as beautiful women, people. Petty hurdles, mere happenstance, Then;
Then, then they would grow, mutate to become unscalable moun-tains of hideousness, oceans of unfathomable depth wherein lurk creatures of unspeakable horror…
yet. Only a spot. A beauty spot, a freckle turned mole, scar per-haps from a former lover. An operation sliver of silver tissue. (Long nights anointing vitamin e cream)
sections of tattoo, three cherries, butterfly, darlin’ly cute, eventual-ly tiresome.
She was talking to them and I saw her blemish, the look that made my blood slow, diminish erections: hormones take a holi-day… Don’t get me wrong, I loved this beautiful woman, loved her with all I could muster, my balls would tighten when she gave me that other look, that look sent my tongue rolling after her down the street. A dog on heat. But, this look…
Tore away the veil that hid worms feeding, ripping into flesh, de-cline of beauty, slow degradation into Oil of Ulay (and surgical tucks) End of warmth, sweat, lust. Bodies straining…
i cannot love them then, turning away until fear subsides, turning in a vain attempt to save the vision. Wanting to keep the photo-graph clear of greasy thumbprints, away from ice cream soured, now dried and staining the picture.
This is impossible, I look again, positioning to catch IT, IT, that look, that frame. Finding myself straining for the same gaze, being there, looking, staring, seeking that momentary glimpse which will destroy beauty…

There’s a Girl in Lymm…

A sweet spring morning, the start of the majorette marching season. (though I didn’t know this yet) I was mooching around, going nowhere, wandering. Wandering streets looking for life, meaning to my Saturday. I’d gotten bored with sleep and sharing a tent with Doug who was only three quarters thru’ his usual twelve hour sleep.
Sun filtered thru’ high cloud, today was to be a scorcher. Today was carnival day. I was at that age where carnivals were boring yet could still stir my blood in some way yet to be fathomed by time. I kept wandering: hungry as always, hungry for every-thing and anything that might take my mind off my constant companion food hun-ger need. Food entered my life, from friends, family, the scared shoplift, forage from trees but never left any lasting impression. Hunger stalked my dreams, prowled my days, turned me into a scavenger for experiences. All life served only to aid my es-cape from hungers claws.
My drift had taken me down to the park. The park was a cold greener place with a river, it’s banks steep and slimy had provided many a trap on other days. The park enclosed solitude, if we as kids invaded with laughter and games its statues would scold us from their lofty perches in coldened metal. Soon we would be looking over our shoulders, suspecting ambush by older kids or some irate adult with a stick. We would run from these ambushes even though they never came, feeling the fear was enough.
The park was busy, tents and stalls suggested yet to be offered delights littered its green pathways. Even in these numbers of people I could still feel eyes peering at me, waiting for my errant ways to manifest.
And then I saw them.
Girls in short skirts and tight tops.
Girls with breasts.
Girls with shiny red knickers…
Girls, Giggling at my goggling and ogling of them.
I stood my ground continued to gaze in wonder and adoration as they twisted, twirled silvered sticks, turned in unison on some beat I knew I would never ever be able to hear.
They ended their practice routine and some mother hen, older wiser and aware of boys like me, clucked them into line and marched them way. I stayed. Drunk in in-ner reverie of skirts, knickers, padded breasts and legs that went on in my younglust mind forever.
My thoughts were interrupted: ” Like what you saw?” she stood in front of me, sun behind her not yet high but lancing over shoulders and into her hair. My blush gave me away. She smiled and told me of who she was, her home some forty miles away, of schools and parents who could never understand. She bought me a Coke (I was always broke) and we walked thru’ the park. At some point my hand found hers, she was warm, firm yet soft and smelled faintly of a soap that I would never smell again.
We stopped on a bench, her hand tightly squeezing mine as she spoke of a father who hurt her but would want cuddles and loving that she didn’t feel able to give. A mother who must know of her daddy’s late night calls but clung onto deafness ra-ther than hear the cries she called out. Her story touched me only slightly, this was common fare to my ears. Many nights in tents, bus shelters or days lodged in trees, anywhere away from the prying eyes and ears of adults and these stories would tumble out. Some would be half formed as if disbelief were a given, some full of de-tail that shocked yet lent an urgency to ask for more. Some like this touched in their simplicity, she too wanted to love him, only not in the way demanded.
The sun was rising higher, noises of starting performances were made, she rose to go. ” Meet me later, after the carnival, there in that red striped tent” She pointed and was gone.
I watched the carnival, aching to catch a glimpse in order to stop this being a dream. She came by twisting, turning, pirouetting, throwing and catching, yet smiling still straight to me. this was something that yet I was still to learn the name off. Crushes had happened before, I’d held hands, professed love tho’ had felt only friendship. Yet here I had met a newbest friend, a something more that others had talked of, was this what the music spoke of?
I can’t tell you of what else was there in that parade for I was gone, gone to stand in the park staring at a red striped tent.
The girls eventually came back, I lurked a little longer by a tree until the mother hen went on her way. She saw me, pulled me in and we began to kiss. This I’d practised but the practice was no match for the real thing: her lips were hot, she was breath-ing deep from the parade, a slightly salt taste came from her tongue as she held me. her breasts pushed into my as she squeezed me further. Her hands locked into mine then found my shoulders, my back, my head, her breath became shorter, there became some urgency that I couldn’t articulate or worse still do something about. She stopped, looked at me and asked if I wanted to touch her. We kissed again, but now my fingers became the focus. I could feel her heat and wet through those red shiny knickers, could feel her breasts hard and firm pushing into my hands, could understand her wanting to give, feel her knowing of companionship and more in this place and time, her eyes and mine were locked, staring into the abyss that an-other can hold when anything can and maybe about to happen.
Then the voice, mother hen come to take her away.
Still staring into me she asked me to promise to come to next weeks carnival at Lymm, I promised and she was gone, whisked away.
That week I searched for a map, indirectly begged for directions from suspicious adults and came up wanting…
The next Saturday came. And went. I didn’t know how to find Lymm or her. That spring became a summer, then autumn and finally winter. The next spring I guess she was too old, though I stopped and waited while the red striped tent filled and emptied of young girls, she wasn’t there. I didn’t stop to see the carnival though now I know there must have been clowns, fancy dress and fun for all.

grey day

There’s a day,
any day,
maybe a grey day
you feel strong
poke your head
just a little above
want to resolve
& that’s a kicker
not often you want
to do just, any of that
but you forgot
its unresolved
there lies the power
over you
in the kingdom of lies
a man seeking truth
is a pariah
not that
that that
holds you in reserve
it’s a day
any day,
maybe a grey day
and your head
is strong
though you know
it’ll get cut off
because the power
is held
by the unresolved.

broke ass blues

I’d be broke. again
sitting in some little room
dusty 70’s drapes
grease on the rug
no booze, no drugs
friends everywhere but me
playing the same tape
over and over. again
cursing my depression
my life
lack of love, money
everything. again
sure it was sadness
but the core
was self pity
and that kept me
many, many, years
from fixing
it. again

Some women

Some women
don’t care
they just need a man
any man
to be around
its ok if you’re a fat slob
farting in your dressing gown
half asleep on the sofa
until you too begin to believe
its love
& then
they want you to go away
the deal was to be around
not needy.

As I walk
I see no strut, no stride
this is where exist
not live
I’ve never wanted any part of this
the shuffle roll
flash of anger
wot u want?
Wot u lookin at?
mums that shout
shut up!
Stop being silly!
For fucks sake!
out loud at prams
the world.

I’ve not wanted to be part
yet I’ve lolled
in darker corners
slept in crumpled beds
next to near strangers
holding on to nothing
waiting for something
to drag me
into a brighter day
so, I walked
walked away
not wanting to look
back into the mud
sucking at my feet
women who wanted
me to be available

curve learning

Can best be described only in terms of moments, minute fragments, segments of time. For that is what they are. Cross sections of space where people meet.
Even if lovers, friends, acquaintances, every second of their lives together, still only precious few moments of meeting, true inter-face is beyond recognisance, we spend time getting into others heads only to plot escape…
Instead the learning curve. Segmented moments plotted on internal graphs:
Am I getting this right?
Am I hearing what they said?
You said?
Am I hearing what I wanted?
Them to say?
You to say?
The list grows endlessly, fractals in the twilight of not knowing:
All that can be played are the cards that lay on the table now, or was it then?