we’d like you in the band

man I can’t sing

happy to throw some words

right into the mix

have some ideas of direction

& I can’t play more than a couple of licks

oh no that’s not what we had in mind

we like your attitude

want some of what you got

don’t want no words

no riffs just you

standing up straight

doing what you do

talk if you like

we’ll fill in the sound

& I tried to tell ‘em

when you got this kind of stain

it won’t rub off

no matter how hard you try

how it starts

she was a great girl beautiful in her dark way

came ragged to me nowhere to go

her ex had pimped her out some & that she didn’t want no more

she was younger than me though that didn’t seem a thing

first we cleaned up the clap

then we settled in together

she got new shoes & clothes I got me a sweeter room

I tried to write & she hung around doing what she called thinkin’

couldn’t get the girl to paint without tears & screams

so I learned to leave that alone

but the one thing she wanted without any need want to work

was the money folding & green & I was always a poor boy at that

never much left after the eatin’ & drinkin’

of course she left one day for a richer man

& I guess that’s how she came to me

if all I can do with love is rent for a short while

at least I get a new model every few years

how it all starts is how it all ends

it seems

the mountains will remain the same

there are no answers

waking at three is no good anymore

it has been a while since I was crawling through the door

at this kind of time

& instead the dark closes in my mind

thinking how of other changes in my life

when did I begin to care about the nothings of time?

I had my understanding nobody cares about anything

unless they are lovers or kith & kine

& even they have learnt to look the other way

when you come looking for answers

a kinder way to make it through

your bowl open & empty is all they see

& rather than tell you they too are empty

they will tell you to go look in another direction

there you might seek answers to find

leaving you to understand you are wrong again

these loves you look upon are only but chains

care for what you want to care

ignore what doesn’t kill you

& the mountains will remain the same

he took all that away

suicide was an option I wanted for me

something I could think of in dead days

hold on to believe

& he took all of that away

seeing the friends come to see him go

if only he’d called they all said

we would’ve tried to pull him through

& all the tears sadness if only we knews

none of this can reset the clock start over

the girl who loved him who let him go

years on feels the tears of betrayal

will the next one I love do this too?

& I could not do this to them

to those that I have said I love you

he took all of that away

but I guess these things

were for him not true

you don’t ever know

any street any town anywhere

that man there cleaning shop windows

wondering just how he’s going to cope

with two kids now she has run away

with the guy he used to call friend

& those two kids hand in hand at the bus stop

in long socks to hide the bruises momma gave

she can’t cope anymore her man don’t understand

& the guy there with the white face pained

by his ‘rhoids ache there in his ass

while the woman limps by her arthritis hot

past the one with MS disability nobody sees

that one got depression only lithium can ease

him there her there going about their long day

two jobs still not able to pay the back rent

we see the stoners giggling tryin’ to get high

not getting they be self-medicating to get by

the hiv+ person not wanting to tell us why

& all there every day any street anywhere

while all we see is other people we don’t care

don’t wanna understand nobody gets our pain

drop the hammer

I can lie

tell you stories late into the night

entertain for the fun of it

but don’t ask me to paint it purty

when you ask about your life

your loves

the shit we all do

what brought you to me

was my lust for living

telling it true

you knew

you could ask me straight

get that back the same way

so don’t ask me to lie

paint it purty

make me

think less of you

drop the hammer down

a few of my favourite things

buzzards in flight over a devon field

eagles Spain Portugal France Germany & on

cat coming in calling me responding returned

my fat face in the shaving mirror pulling faces

her bottom soft in my hands saying hello goodbye

spider web on the door mirror thrumming at 60mph

the sun rose fingers creeping over the trees at dawn

chopping a dead tree winter firewood falling right

kid in the street looking at my motorcycle unscared

coffee in a backstreet Naples charged locals price

wearing the right clothes as the rain begins to patter

riding fast in a biker pack for 100 miles or more

new church’s shoes on a good friends night out

drying out riding after a summer rain storm on my bike

smell of a new book by my favorite dead author

gazpacho Zaragoza served with yesterdays bread

greasy spoon Heinz beans on toast cold London night

your voice on the phone hundreds of miles away

Osborne’s 103 coffee carajillo 6.30 am Repsol wake up

oooooooooooooooooooh you!

she screamed you make me so mad

the way you slit your eyes peer at the world

never let on you got the blues

make yourself out to never be the bad

& they say angry women tell the most truth

well I guess it’s their truth today anyway

listen I say just listen a little bit

nobody needs to know your sadness

my badness my own pit of the blues

they got their own shit going on

pains in their feet guts arms heads

yes, yes I know all that but that’s WE got

the rest of us IN the world bonds over that shit

but you you bastard won’t let go not one bit

trying to be lofty above all the crap

wanting to know which way the world drops

I kissed her about then pulled her close

listen baby you know & I know

I’m just a guy tryin’ to get by

discover a few clues get ahead of the game

& that’s what matters to me most

forgetful drinker

the first & only time

I turned up all ready to go

got all the kit stuff we agreed

& he looked at me all strange

what?

we were gonna do…..?

he shakes his musty head

offer some lost winsome grin

oh I’ve forgotten again

please can you forgive?

so now when he’s drinking

I borrow a five or a ten

some rusty tool he’s got hidden

make plans him to come to me

let him be the fool

with memory to lose