I wanted that love

she smiled at me

coquettish over her shoulder

& I felt the pain in my groin

mix of lust & wonder

would I ever be good enough?

nothing had yet been revealed

the trash behind all that poise

we dated a few times

made something between us

nights in her bed

days wandering the world

heading to some kind of future

that’s generally how this story goes

& then you wake one morning

head & eyes open to what lies around

seeing clearly for the first time

since that once backwards glance

this is how together would be

picking up her pieces left on the ground

being her trash man

holding everything together

supporting actor for her ain’t life grand?

so you drop the ball a couple of times

she don’t seem to notice

the trash getting deeper, higher

pattern missing to the floor

& you go missing yourself

see if that makes a difference at all

until you notice her looking over her shoulder

at somebody else

& you feel the pain soft in your head

you never were worthy enough

to be the picker upper, bag man

in somebody else’s score

Too many Neils

This fella

pushes himself in to the bar

bellies right up ordering

looking all around

are you Neil?

he says kinda wild eyed

sure I go that’s me


he looks around again

like he’s checking the exits

the odds against him

you know Diane x?

no I say, I don’t

who is she?

as he starts pulling on my arm

lets talk over here

Diane is, was my wife until you…

& in the anger, there is a tear there

I don’t know this Diane, you, I say

so, don’t lets start putting stuff on me, ok

I got your name, this bar, this crowd

& here you are….

& I look over to the other Neil

he’s trying hard not to look over

while looking nervous about this fella

holding grudges right in front of me

this Neil you want teaches at x?

he nods, yeah that’s where they met

I call the barman over, tell him where I teach

you teach at y he says…been there a few years

& the fella is not entirely convinced

but he’s starting to get there

your Diane is not one of my students

as I look over see Neil slipping out the side door

dark haired fella much as me?

teaches business studies, accounting?

he nods again, yeah she’s business studies

& he looks helpless now

I’d give him a man hug if his intent

was not obvious hurt

does she know you’re here?

she’s outside in the car

all messed up by you, this Neil

finishing the fling yesterday

& I’m furious with her, him, you

he rushes out the door before the tears come

& then there comes a shouting

because of course Neil had seen her

had been talking out his love in the car

as the jilted hubby shot out the door

full of feelings & fear

he’d made a fool

of himself with the wrong fella in the bar

we enjoyed the show as he chased Neil

out of the car, around the car

& gave him a cuffing about the ears

Tea for two

I was aged maybe thirteen

on the beach costa brava

a newly married couple

staying in the same hotel

cuddling together away from the rest

she caught my eye as I walked by

gave me brightest say hi look

patted the sand to say sit

& asked all about me

& after a minute, maybe two

her groom began singing

‘tea for two & two for tea’

as she grew uncomfortable

wriggling in the sand

his eyes staring at me

I got up ran to the sea

as she gently chided him

when I came back they were gone

they were there at dinner time

late for breakfast of course

& she would smile at me

while he would growl

sing tea for two at me

which then I didn’t get

& now

I understand


my last job in the city

working with people with politics

who I’d offended by telling my truth

they were the bourgeoisie preaching

to the unwashed hordes, me

& it didn’t matter I was struggling

there was no care there

that was saved for the masses

who very obviously needed it more

I was sleeping in the woods

had me a tent, sleeping roll

& my trusty Harley to get me to & fro

at the end of each day

I’d ride out to the forest

find a new spot to hide

set up my little encampment

eat a cold supper

open a bottle

& set to with the polishing rag

until the light dropped too low

that was a very clean bike

cleanest it had ever or would be

in the morning I’d pack it all up

strap it to the bike & ride with joy into town

jockeying from traffic light to light

with all the other bike commuters

hustling past the cars thru’ the jaywalkers

head into the shower put on clean clothes

& find some breakfast

nobody spoke much to me

I was to be the local pariah

deep in purdah spoken to only in necessity

there is a grace that comes with that

having to choose words carefully, wisely

aware there are traps waiting to be sprung

by willing apparatchiks wanting to serve the cause

subvert any vanilla message to ill will

ratpacking is strong with these

by night I polished the Harley

by day I polished my words

& counted the days down

much no doubt like they did too

until I could finally leave

no fare thee well party

cards for bon voyage

I took the money

& ran


Those standing proud



we knew

can’t say know


every one will go on

not all in battle

some go quietly in their sleep

not all in the terror of pain

just the select chosen few

& what would they select

if the choice was given

silently surrounded by lovers

fighting fierce blood in their ears?

or the third here

to outlast

to feel the sadness

mourn their passing

in the loss

Where the eyes come to rest

miserable bitch in the sandwich line

a good old day

stuffed with people

light and noise

city fast food sandwich bar

and now

time to pay for my roll

its cheese, wilted lettuce and pickle

desperate to be eaten

she’s short

bottle blonde and mean as the garnish

nothing escapes this black hole

no smile

no eye twinkle

or service

I hand over my cash

to open maw

flat face



like the mad thing from next door

and later

I realise that’s because

I was on the right side of the counter.

and later

I wonder on her problems.

turmoils, tribulations, troubles.

but now i’m wondering

if these caused the bitch

or she caused them

Songs for the doomed

for illicit lovers

one and all

the things they do

ear rings, underwear


left laying around

lipstick smudges

and smutty notes

make it so easy

for collars to be felt

pockets to be found

empty phone calls

in bad disguise

wronged numbers

hot in whispers

intrigue of promise

sighs sibilant siren sounds

and we are trapped

in wonder


and deception

created long underground

in unconscious wish

to be found out

naughty again

I watched a clock for an hour

saw the sweep hand through each second


thinking that if I punished myself enough

I’d know not to catch this kind of job again

but I did

being young feckless and free

the burdens

I had felt as nothing then

there would always be a better day

at the end of the shift


counting stuff

sweeping floors


pulled things in cages


all for the pay

at the end of the week


I was as the dust

swept from dark corners

faint shitstains on thrones

and they made sure

to let me know this;

you can go at the end of today


we got somebody with more shift

about them

and I’d escape into the sunshine


wondering where I’d go next

to start the cycle again


Sat on the beach watching ships pass by

and I’m telling you

how many times I did this before

different places



like Gatsby

looking for his green light

my healing in times of need

looking out across the water

distant places

ships and lights

once I thought

I’d be there forever


not taking part

and here I am

involved again

we’ve been through so much

this now

could be

our healing has begun

Angels & Daemons Hideaway Bar

Let me just set the beat

a bass low & slow

think Jah Wobble at the back

a steady bass beat kick drum

brushes soft on the skins

a snare popping on the 8

swamp blues think Ry Cooder tones

with a lairy long guitar riff snaking out

now & then like a cat wailing at getting

what it needs

some sweet Terry Evans riff in no rush

to get anywhere its going

let that swing for a few minutes

then picture if you will

a long bar, soft red lit on a hot night

I’m at one end watching a bead

of beer sweat slide down the glass

enjoying the air con & nothing

the door opens & this guy slides in

orders a cool one, holds against his brow

he nods

I nod social back

as the beat slumbers on behind us

his voice quiet not a whisper

more soft gravel on hot fat tyres

I had me a season of spirit women

not a long season tho’ at times

it sure felt like it

some times I feel they cursed me

for leaving


they cursed me for the stay

I got nothin’ special just another guy

tryin’ to find his own way

the riff curled around the speakers

hung in the air

then the soft thud back beat started over

they loved me more than I loved them


they’d do anything I needed or want

I tested this how else does a man show love?

I nodded wiped my neck with a do rag

& offered a half smile

but they had this one thing y’know

with the spirit thing

this witchy stuff they had goin’ on

they’d hint, prod, leave spaces

where words could be

& if you play, put the wrong words

in their right spaces it kills the spell

he shuddered then

took a drink

I had to leave then man

could not do that telepathy thing

tho’ I tried every day

it was about this point

my eyes must have glazed over

hey he called don’t fade on me

you looked like the listenin’ kind

don’t make me drag you down

I snapped out

shook my head

remembered the name of the bar


should we have another beer instead?

I swear his eyes glowed then

as he growled

I felt it was time we should meet

& it was then

I remembered why I was there