5am

Five fucking ayem
Jarred awake from a sleep of…?
& its gone
Sprung upright by strange sounds in the alley
5.30 a. m.
paid for hotel room
cotton sheets, luxury pillows
warm, despite thin blue glow around black thick curtain
poor memories of the slut who wanted me
long drinks coming fast
wanting to read my best stuff
but babies in the audience
who the fuck brings kids to a poetry reading?
& I can’t bring myself to read strong words
in front of ears that don’t yet know true pain
of five a.m. shocked from sleep
as the beep beep beep shit truck
backs up
to take away my tawdry excess of last night
my new existence
as I smile, turn over into comfort sheets
I’m no longer the poor bastard in that damp alley
I escaped
Maybe, one day, he will too.

when the tv is slow

We fear we are the hollow men
but can’t even raise the hard dick for that
not for us the rough life of the road, the seas
ours is the 9 to 5 of sinister existence
punching the time clock under the eyes of another half dead
grinding through the day waiting for our mistakes
to be proof that such continuance has value
making things with machines to make money
to waste on children who know we know nothing
or in cul de sac pursuits to simulate the living that we forget
our wives don’t wait for us no more they have their own dramas
and will fuck us only on nights when the tv is slow
or their thin pity gives it up in one last try for the team
for this we are expected to be grateful
and promise to not remember a time when we made love
not this faded stripe patch of garment called companion
until our worn down minds and frail bodies give to decay
this will prove the high point of dread subsistence
to be a fighting survivor of terminal disease
it is how we will be remembered if at all
rather than the young man priapic in eternal spring.

I got shallows running deep baby

You got no soul, he whip cracks, I must’ve hip moved cos the whip flicked by…
I got no soul?
Maybe baby it was worn out, those long summers in the city, falling in love with each pretty woman in a thin summer frock bathing in my love as they frothed the pavement.
I got no soul?
Could it be the dead end jobs, hustling for pennies on the pound, pressing the oiled hydraulic lever to push out just another dark rubber grommet, waiting on people who’d rather I wasn’t there and sending drinks to the waitresses while I did their job and mine?
I got no soul?
Sleeping with women who were too scared of rejection to tell me in sheet stained nights that they had feelings other than their body offer for me, scared of their daddies so they burned me instead, scared of their mommies to let go, feel the lust inside, scared of what people might think to make a noise in their love?
I got no soul?
Was it walking the dark English night, silent intensity, nowhere to go, call home, hoping for salvation in the next hitched car to take me somewhere, everywhere, an adventure, anywhere, black emptiness inside never ending despite whichever fag end town I found?
I got no soul?
Tight rooms burdened by tired furniture, wallpaper curled sweated walls of loneliness, the bottle, drugs to ease and waiting for a new day that might bring a new something to the pity party, swirls of half readable words penned before dawn.
I got no soul?
Friend faces I forgot, life stories I heard of lives so other than mine, wars of love, hate, the mean that we do to each other just because we can, want to, enjoy. Maybe baby, I’ve mistaken these deep blues and yeah, just mebbe, I got no soul.

off’f

I had these places, oases of trees, green, quiet
off’f the unbeaten track
spaces to sit, think, lie out the day
finding moments of clarity, crystal fragments
which faded as I headed back
to my life of work, cold dreams, broke reality
to women who swore they understood, but knew nothing
beyond their own unfulfilled desire dreams
I can, do, go back to the places I lay
deep in the long grass and weeds
to try and work out what it was, the world and its needs
those vexed too easy to be answers
simpler, much clearer than now
as I sit, wait out a while
thinking
I wish you were here
then.

What would you have for me?

What would you have for me?

What would you have for me now
family, work, tv, drama
full force, a half delivered love?

What could you give me now
that we have lived through youths heat
in strength of mind and bodies?

What would you offer me now
years are less in front
than the tangled mess behind?

What would you do for me now
companionship, affection
rather than erotic love, lust?

What would you have for me now
our bodies turning to rust
a gentler pace, a slow decline?

not Angostura, oh no

I didn’t, couldn’t write for 8 years, more. I thought I’d lost it, lost my mojo, desire/need to put down what was happening for me around me, even thought my dad dying had ended that somehow, but no, it was the shit people around me.
They fucking hated me, they hated what I wrote: couldn’t read it, wouldn’t read it, said, didn’t make sense, it was out of sequence, told me it was like their work but oh no not as good or disjointed-much like your lost love lives eh fuckers?
But read it they did. It went out to the people my work mattered to, they got it, moved on, did the things they were meant to. While my colleagues rebadged my shit, put gussy borders on it and floated it on as their own. One took a year to ‘rewrite’ one offering, gave it back untouched as all her own work and they loved it, because it was no longer mine.
They told me I stunk, was too sensitive, wondered about my life, man they were so fucked up all they could do was put shit out rather than own it, own themselves.
Worse I almost began to believe the bullshit.
Thankfully, eventually they offered an out, I took it and ran, both hands, out into the light, the day, away from the brooding night inside. And that children is how work fucks people up, they lose their humanity, see others as less than themselves, lose awareness of their own stink but knowing the place reeks put the blame on another.
Beware work, beware forgetting work is a place you go to get money to live: if you didn’t need money to love, there would be no work. Forgetting this makes stupid people think they have a vocation, a cause, energie de vie, for doing what they do, which is to earn money in order to live a life. I know this ‘cos not one refused their salary despite their arrogance in ‘serving the cause’ though serving their chosen cause did help them look down their noses at me.
Somehow the grey memo on shithead bosses had not got to these people, they had the idea that whispering campaigns, disinformation and rumour could get them career advancement. They had no idea that the boss is always, always, cannot be anything but a shithead: only concerned with a) covering their back b) putting you in the spotlight of blame to promote a)
Sure they smile as they lie, they will smile as they pat you on the back to get you to do good work but to actually manage people? Its puzzlingly a whole line of work they get promoted to do but cannot deliver on, any disaster, any fuck up in the food chain of work decisions will always be further fucked up by including a manager in the decision making. You’ve got a great idea to make what you do easier, simpler? Do it, just do it, cos if you tell them and you’ve got a shithead manager, they will find a way to bury that idea, that initiative because of a) Of course if it really is a great idea and could get them further up the greasy pole of management? Expect a rebadged version some time down the line after you’ve been encouraged to leave or been hidden away in the back office.
Every reorganisation that puts the work the work the company does further away from the people they are supposed to do it for? That’ll be a shithead manager with an MBA (masters business administration) but you can bet it involves a higher salary for managers.
Fuck em eh? I got out and they are still their fighting the good fight imploding their energy at each other rather than doing the work they get paid good money to do.

a moment

Oh god for a moment alone, a minute to me, by myself, seconds without others, here, there, everywhere. Fragments of time like when I was young, invisible in the world, aeons then where I could walk, be, doing nothing but being with me. Carrying a notebook, pen, I could sit, idle, lay in the sidestreet, alleyways, loitering with intent to do not much. Just me in my thoughts working out the patterns, the ways ahead wanting to find a way of not hating all around, too simple, too much pain for the head, not accepting, too obvious, better off dead. Another path, aware of the traps, the falls, the quicksand to smother desire to live. Nobody makes it all the way.
Oh god, for a moment alone, free from eyes, free from others needs to engage, free from curiosity, the what you got I haven’t got? Free from I don’t like you ‘cos I don’t like-name the poison: gender, race, religion, dress code, hair style, social class, dribbling on and on in hate. Free from I haven’t yet matured and I can take my shite out on you ‘cos I can, want to, will do, you are not big enough, smart, quick enough to run away.
Oh god, for a moment alone, escaping debt, bills, credit companies, banks that need, letters that flutter through the door, requests to help, calls to clear up the mess somewhere, everywhere that I have no part in, desire to be, yet, yet, somehow I must, must be part of the solution.