California

No longer the land

where the white man walks

struts his stolen stance

in place of the red

all creeds

all races

shuffle here now

the sidewalk is polished

by their soft shoe’d toes

& I know the why

of their zombie movie fears

these are the zones

of the homeless

asleep on their feet

lounging in the gutter

pissing in the alley

shitting two blocks from main street

no place to live

no food to eat

but send me your masses

the message from the elites

Ancient houses

Hold treasures

dithery ghosts

that hide

the things you need

to then

put them in plain sight

when you don’t

creaks in floorboards

mad holes in walls

whatever

could have been there?

a sighing

in certain winds

cold corners

even spiders ignore

memories under

over wallpapered walls

impressions of heads

bodies

messages from builders

now joined the long dead

to enter a room

that a presence

has just left

though you are

supposedly

on your own today

and to not feel fear

upset

but to know

that ancient houses

hold treasures

without a price

obviously not with you

the things they write

questions they ask

can be years between communications

like there never was

‘I felt we really connected

& really don’t understand

what went wrong’

& if I could really remember

it would now be awkward to say

the truth of any of that

I felt there was a part of you

held back

hidden from view

not in play

& so felt it better for me to walk away

on to the more frivolous:

did you ever wear women’s underwear?

well

obviously not with you

can be

my only response

NOMFB

some bitter exchange

seen from my seat

a couple of rows over

she was choking on her tears

& he was biting in his truths

not that I heard word one

just some disinterested observer

watching the emotions people play

he was all business grey & light blue shirt

she was all weekend dress down day

with eyes holding lightning flashes

while his held down on his prey

I saw her reach out to touch

some stroking to get her way

as he avoided the tackle moved away

saw the light in his eye as spoke again

watched her crumble no win again

they came together held an embrace

walked off in different directions

both looking like something gained

who needs Shakespeare eh?

strawberry grazes

She carries the huff marks

strawberry grazes

sores & pimples on her cheeks

where the plastic bag

late caressed her skin

& now she needs money

stalking the train

has anybody got any money?

or water even?

her skinny jean’d legs

carry her past me

not a second glance

she has seen her mark

but those holes in the blue jeans

accuse me as she saunters back

bottle in hand

scant change clinking in pocket

to stand in the doorway

aloof

now drinking

no longer in need of any of us

 

We see things

the horrors we live with

& for those who know nothing

of any of these

we need to pick our words carefully

give them the truth too soon

& they will turn away

despise it as untrue

yet take too long in the tale

& that is what truth becomes

a saga

& so we dance carefully

not on the edge of our own reason

but yours

for yours

is the timorous truth

the beware of beasts bothered

where ours feels the horrors

knows their terrors

yet we must carry

you carefully

too

while women shop

I hate waiting around

while women shop

in department stores

where they try

the patience of assistants

trying different sizes of items

colors

then not buying

I need to think about nothing

while I wait

standing or sitting

staring into space

waiting

wishing

for the world to end

spacing to the place

we go when time

must be wasted

& we don’t force them

to come with

into mens places

forcing them to hang around

either because we know how hard it is

to wait while another thinks over things

or we are just not sadistic enough

cannot be found

The overwhelming noise of america

buildings made of wood

or fronted by it

that allow sound to travel in

shrieking of trains

trams, buses

trolleys, metro/bart systems

cable cars, rumbling trucks

people shouting for everything

change, dollar to eat

cacophony of billboards

selling every much needed service

silence is a luxury

found in natural parks

high price high rise for the rich & famous

seclusion of remote lakes, rivers

where the recreational vehicles

rv’s, trucks, bikes, jet ski’s

where the ever present bbq pit or mobile phone

brought in beer cooler for necessary drinks

cannot be found

News of a new baby

& no mention of the daddy

& I hope that’s not because

he is not around

has been & gone

& she is such a young woman

with no job, no home

this will be two lives

devastated

by what could be

should be

such a great event

her momma not able

to be there for her

the booze coming first

her own daddy dead

no winners here people

but we will go

smile

offer support

& hope that all works out

for the better

because we have to

& its not as if

my own generation

did not go the same way

 

The kid in California

motel by the airport

young Japanese boy

fresh from an overnight flight

comes into the breakfast room

looks around

& under his breath

yet louder than he thinks

begins to sing Tupac’s California

designates the offer

fruit loops

frosted cornflakes

fruitloaf

wheat bread

farmers choice OJ

coffee & decaff

half & half

wholemilk

quaker oats

scrambled eggs

pancakes to go

toaster

& slowly worked his way through

all of ‘em

while

his family

watched his smile