she comes in

She comes in

talking of her day

the stupid shit

we all deal with

when working with others

& my hands fly to my ears

wait, ouch

& because she loves me

is used to who I am

she lowers the pitch

& I get to hear

what she needs to say

it really isn’t

that I don’t want to hear

or want to play my part

it is that I get used to my level

the quiet of writing

low level of thunk

& the world is a noisy place

that I’ve tuned out

over the hours

& now I need

to relearn the language


from others



I first got giddy

at an early age

reading the northern poets

who sounded something alive

reading of me

my life

that other, inner world

then the music came

hit me with all it had

taking me out of my place

offering something other


waiting to be got

so I wrote

& they hated all of it

& the more I explained

the more they hated me

with more passion


than they could summon

for their own miseried lives

they led without love

& I got out

by the skin of my teeth

making bad decisions

after poorer choices

until that one day

I wrote a thing

a few lines scattered

in my spider writing

across an old notebook

& loved it enough to keep it

for a few days more

Not paying attention

to myself

oh don’t worry

not talking

about the unkempt appearance

scruffy clothes thing

we launched over that hurdle

some long time ago

it’s the ‘good habits’ thing

tho’ they tell me I’m untidy

I know where my keys





good habits do that

always putting them in

the same places

it’s more that I was walking

thinking of things unsaid

& you came around the corner


I’d not seen you first

straight into

how good you were

pleased to see me

how well I looked

& that’s how I knew

you were lying

always hated

my careless clothes

you wanted a kiss

some peck on the cheek

so I gave it

said I gotta run

& was gone

from you

while you squealed


I’ll call you!

a man has to keep his wits

about him

pay attention

as predators

never waver on prey


I’ve missed your hugs

she muffles

from my chest

& hangs on for a while

maybe two minutes


feels like an eternity

as my mind wheels back

to when we were lovers

but she doesn’t think of me now

like that

long times ago

not that I’d want that again

in my life today



y’know how it is

to be thought of as an ex-lover

has no thrill



have what you will

to be a was

has been

but no longer

a sexual person

I hold her

feeling her breath warm

slow & relaxed

once I made her pant

gulp for air


& now

I am only good for her stress


& very probably

my own

peace of mind


Somewhere deep

in the high California desert

hot dust and bright

a railway crossing

lights flashing

mid afternoon

as we stop to wait for the train

& here comes Casey Jones

striped dungarees, cap

waving his big lamp

checking time on his

big fat engineers pocket watch

I go over to pass the day

Hi, how long is the train?

I’ve no idea says he

I’m here on holiday

love the trains

is all it is….

erm, I ask, all confused

is that a Belfast accent

you’re sporting there?

Aye son, he comes back

as I was tellin’ ye, I love the trains

thought I’d do my part….

& I walk away

after mumbled goodbyes


this is

not the place

to comment further

out loud

It is what it is

gets thrown about some

in the simplicity

of a thought stopping cliché

what it really means

is to give it straight

let us know the all of it

rather than

some ego/face saving

trickle of tid-bit story


comes out in the end

& if we are

to make informed decisions

all information is vital

but humans are fickle

will do anything

to save from being judged

keep up the front

we’ve carefully crafted


if you can tell it like it is

leaving in

all the bits you’d prefer out

you are the better person

it is what it is

Tired of revolution

new this

fresh that

different way

of doing old things new

I want resolution

when the man on my tv

is telling me the same

as that woman on tv

did yesterday

& I didn’t believe in her

& I don’t believe in him

but they’re saying

all these things in my name

not my name

not my planet

I ain’t got no expenses account

limo parked in the street

no tickets on the windshield

they got clothes from names

I only see in adverts

on that damned rotten tv

selling me a new truth

not like

oh no

the truth telling me from yesterday

I want resolution

end to taxation without representation

none of these cats

will ever be meeting me

listening to a word I say

without twisting ‘em to suit their play

end to kids starving before school

after school going back to nothing

a future without more money

a job without living pay

end to police brutality

they ain’t serve & protecting me

not my family

just taking money from my pockets

to pay for more



again for me


nothing to do this seaside afternoon

as the ladies take their fill

sit to eat ice cream

rest weary feet

suck on an ice lolly

the chatter begins

about nothing much

inane conversation



how her from 2 doors down

knows no better

kids nowadays

always on their phones

no respect for their elders

& him that got his girlfriend pregnant

& if asked

you’d tell them

of greek plays

from four thousand years ago

that spoke of much the same

issues with kids

they won’t ask

for who are you to know?

you are alone

when they have good company

people to talk with

share ice cream


spend time with

chew over the small stuff

who will be there

when granddad falls

granny needs taking to the hospital

& all this chatter

is the grease

on the wheels

of their relationship

& no greek play

no matter how old



will help with the emergencies

life brings


sipping cafe creme

As the dead bodies pile up

I’m sipping a café crème by the Seine

stacked in cold storage waiting claim

paying through the nose for frosty Red Stripes in London

scraped from wreckage on fast roads with difficult bends

sitting in the sun too blinded to see ancient cathedrals

fished from the sea & left only with a toe tag

cervezas & tapas sitting along the Dura

found hanging in forests without a note

waking at 3am as the cat lands on my feet

heart attacks, strokes, final coughs in hospitals

as I turn over, tickle the cat

not today my friend

not today

but it is coming

it was a good room

I had a music player

a sink

two rings to cook on



couple of chairs

it was on the top floor

so nobody



the long stairs

up to my lair

next door was a drunk

who’d get steaming

cry in the night

& I cared enough

to hammer his door

if he got too loud with it

I could paint

hang the sheets on the wall

write into the night

put the pages down

& later

if I read & hated

sail them out the window

into the rain

the drunk got loud one night

I hammered his door

& he came out

all fists & fuck you fury


tears running down his ragged ass face

I’ll clean it in the morning


the shitter

I had an accident ok

& he opened the door

on our shared shitter

there was shit

on the floor

the walls

the crapper itself




door handle

no, man

clean it now

& if you don’t

I will kick your ass



he looked at me

face all wet

man, I’m fucking sick

I can’t do this now

I just can’t

Ok, I said

prepare for pain

& stared deep

Into his wet tears & snot face



he cried

I’ll fucking do it.

I went back to my room


to muffled huffs & puffs

out in the hallway

for about an hour

then a quiet tap on the door

I went out

he’d cleaned it

well, enough to use

but man

he stunk of shit

sorry man, he said

bad times y’know

you, er, got any booze?

I got rid of him

with a rough NO

went back to some lines

I’d been working on

& threw them out of the window

into the rain