She called me Jack

I was her downtime loving man

one of my ever married women

would call on me evening time

you guys can judge if you want

when that door closed

I knew what was mine

they told stories of love gone wrong

long evenings

stretching lonely

make them want to lose their minds

she called me jack most nights

we’d be going at it until we broke the line

I was easy then

take whatever came along

easy on my pocket

easy on my time

pickings are easy

if you don’t mind

your side of the bed

never growing cold

Christmas & holidays by yourself

your lover going home

to others

being that downtime only

loving man

lively evening times

others on the shelf

it gets old they go on to others

I did not mind

knew there’d be lovers

knocking my door come evening time

when love is easy

going on into the night

there’s a distance

you don’t cross

call me mr jack baby

let me learn your knock

there on the door

when you leave

there will be


crossing the floor

Trying not to care

weeks I never left the room

wasn’t in drink


no tv

just lost the point


to go out

the shack job had once

had everything I needed

though I knew

that had come to an end

I was either sleeping


staring at the walls

I began reading

anything I could get my hands on

soaking up words

sucking them in

back of chemical bottles in the can

breakfast boxes

looking for something

to hold on to

she wanted me out


just couldn’t find

her words to say

i’d ceased being useful

to her

in my trying to find some pattern

did not want me there

my lust for her

had dissipated

some time ago

the lie we had worn thin

this was a clinging

nobody wanted

a friend called

while she was seeing a friend

c’mon man lets get you out

of here

left a note

thank you for everything

i’m gone

& like that

a few pale words

on a slight bit of card


the spell was broken

Something about rabbits

deep asleep in a post coital

post drinking

post dancing

night out

dreaming of green fields

& something about a rabbit

wanting to tell me about….

shaken awake

its my husband!


his car!


my husband just pulled up outside!

y’got to go, quick

half asleep

head full of haze

she was throwing clothes at me


I bundle them under my arm

how do I get out?

bathroom she hissed


I open the window

look out

throw shoes


reach out for the drainpipe

shimmy twenty feet

in the dark

search for shoes


jog away

bundle under my arm

head slowly clearing

jogging in the dark

to a park bench

slowly getting dressed

find cigarettes

spark one



hang on

she’d told me

she was a teacher


looking for a steady man

& here I was

jogging in the dark

stopping to catch breath


as the penny dropped

there was no husband

she just wanted me gone

maybe lain awake

in a poor post coital funk

lying next to dead asleep







did not want

the difficult morning

wake up conversation

I walked on home

through the quiet streets

smiling to the world

& for me

all decisions had been taken

out of my hands


I could feel her creeping up on me

her thoughts radiating

slivers of knives

in the hot air

her eyes steady

bright as an eagle on prey

I was not ready to fight

but ready to defend

threw a casual swirl to protect

& stepped into a circle of calm

I know you she smiled

though my third ear heard

this as a hiss


you have the advantage

I replied

how can I be of help?

oh I want nothing


to do

with you

she lied


I must bid you adieu

her eyes still on my throat

I made moves to go

wait she cried

is it true

you are the kind of man

that flees a woman

with a quest?

If you want nothing

to do

from me


all I can offer is direction

go this

go that

your roads must differ from mine

& with that stepped toward

on to the path of truth

where I knew

she could not follow

beware these demons

harpies of painted nails

lips of ruby red

hearts of whip cruel

heads filled with cold vengeance


but needing home

they will rip any man

not acquainted

with protection

on the path

of truth

I was not


for hell



easy conversation

we were talking

& you asked a deeply personal question

& I responded straight as I could

if you felt need to ask

you deserved honest response

& the talk moved on to other things

while my heart beat on in my chest

where had that come from?

were there more to follow?

but no

you continued

as if

the need to ask had never occurred

we met again some weeks later

easy as I could

I referred to your need to question

& you said you couldn’t recall

ever asking me that at all

but by the way

what was the answer?

I said there was no point in the answer

if you couldn’t remember

why you’d asked


at all

& now I’m wondering

who was fucking with who here?

Days like these

once there was a time

of bright days

beautiful brides

futures stretching away

then came the chubby babies

squealing in fonts

us squeezing into suits

to mark the day

and more lately

sombre mornings

dirges filling the air

as you

& you

go on to that mystery beyond

it seems

that this

is how we note the changes

of friendship


in our days

& years

& while we might

attend more than one

of your weddings

we will only do

one of those

for you


It’s a chuckle of memory

she lived along the street

her man invited me over

sat me down with a cup of tea

pushed a fat spliff at me

looked me over

& asked who I was

there was no answer to give

this was not a conversation

between friends

as she sat there & smiled

it was a bitter interview

all of which I was unaware

she had decided to leave him

move on to me

of which I yet knew nothing

I could feel his intensity

roil off him in brittle waves

as I sat sipping tea

huffing his ganja puff

& wondering

if today was going to be

a good day

or one of those days

the world rears from nowhere

bites you on the ass


Its difficult to understand

you tell me

your parents loved you

only wanted the best

brought you up as best they could

supported you through college

those long university years

& here we are side by side

same place same time

telling me you’ve done good

& I’m looking around

thinking it’d been a struggle

to get here

this ain’t no resting place

but a stop along the way

for you it’s the apogee

pinnacle of your career

maybe having all that support

robbed you of your own drive

not that I got much more

except that wanting to thrive

move on to the next thing

that this living breathing brings

tribe 1

Born into the working class

& football means nothing to me

I hold no skills in the game

did not

could not

play in the park

jerseys for goals

shouting in the sun

pass, pass here!

I was a reader


book under my arm

checking books out of the library

on an almost daily basis

the librarian would challenge

I’d say, pick a page, any page, any book

she’d read a line or two

& I’d chime in with the next lines

or talk of the theory being tested

some thought I was gay

that was gay then

reading books

can’t play football

& that only pushed me further outside

I had no Dad take me to matches

no uncles to take me fishing

these were all work work work

that or drink drink drinking

aunts who fell

walked into doors

which did not fool me any

I wanted none of this

but to write

string the words

make you laugh, cry, sing

& for that

I was gay

& as that young lad

I had no idea

what that meant

but thought

hey, I got a tribe

bring it the fuck on

note: football being soccer