not about control

oh no

never alone

until the day you said goodbye

& that was such a relief

not to have to think

of you first

how anything would play by you

never lost in my thoughts

without you asking

what was going on in my head

dissecting each process

how everything affected you

your tears to bleed

& I was never alone

to count the seconds

patterns in sun on the wall

reflect on happier times

before you took them all

put them in your scrapbook

forever yours to keep


is how she lived her life

lurching from one broken car

lover to another

& as a friend I found her fun

in small doses that is

even sometimes getting to meet

greet the grey men

who always but always

had some deficit in the trouser area

& nobody wants to hear details

on all of that

but she had this in spades

& I’d listen one ear on the issue

one eye roving the café blind

noise bar we’d meet

until one time

my third eye sparked open

just what if you are part of the collection

she chooses

grey men with erectile issues?

I smiled kissed her cheek

checked my manhood

made my excuses & left

never to be audience again

language of love guff

it is hard to learn a language

I was saying

if you have nowhere to put it

speak it in exchange

oh is that why

she asked

all wide-eyed innocent put on

you are so bad at love?

yeah of course I said

thank you for noticing

it’s because I got good

at the in between sheets stuff

with all of your sisters

I never had to bother learning

that language of love guff

clear instructions:

label them from the outset

as crazy misguided

even better some kind of ‘ist or ‘ism

& from then on

is almost as good

as putting fingers in your ears

& singing nanana can’t hear you

glue the label on tight

& you don’t have to listen

regard anything they have to say

& better still

you get to bully them

feel good & righteous about doing that

treating them as not right

disregard their humanity

rights to their own opinion

safe on your own high moral ground

rinse & repeat

ad infinitum

throwin’ rocks eternal

the first time

I’d be about five

playing over on the waste ground

& the older kids came over

began muscling in

shoving me out of the way

go home to your mum got said

& he ain’t got one she run away!

& before i knew it

I was fighting kicking & biting

knees faces arms

everything got in my way

they threw me down pretty quick

walked off muttering to themselves

& that’s when I was found

throwing rocks at their backs

by the neighbours who said

what a rotten kid to be doing that

but then they mumbled between them

he ain’t got one at home

to show a better way

& they wondered why I hated them


Motorcycle mama

you see her in the street

reacting gently

as the hogs rumble by

she can’t help herself

that soft turn towards

the sound

& you wonder if it stirs

somewhere deep inside

she was young once

loved all her boys

lost some in ways

she remembers to forget

another stuck around

now she’s a grandmother

to the one she’s pushing

a different set of wheels

but that doesn’t stop

her thoughts

of when

her hair grew yellow long

fitting those tight leather jeans

in summers so long past

now most days feel like autumn

her hair shining grey

those fading leaves

like memories

falling down

yesterdays drum

Oh god not this again

he wants to sit & reflect

on the wisdom of age

the benefits of thinking rather than doing

without listing the not be able to’s

run a straight line at speed

fuck three or four times a night

& want more

see the horizon clear

not focussing on blind spots to the sides

be awake at 3 a.m.

& not be bothered by this

drink & drink & eat whatever is in front

laughing throughout the evenings

no concerns on the morrow to come

oh yeah

deliver me from reflections such as this

I’d rather still be banging

on yesterdays drum

the creedence

living on ‘pane

are real country words

ways of being

folk talk easy on the ‘shine

clinkin’ & drankin’

from jelly glasses

that has gone all mainstream

become part of city culture

the other truth of livin’ country

is getting’ by on ‘pane

having to go to the store

or the gas station

get a refill middle of the night

to cook dinner


& come winter

the heating

even the Creedence knew

all about that

best barfight ever

sometime around Christmas

& it was F cold outside

we’d gone in I was hanging my coat

as Tim handed me a glass

cheers he said bon appetit

& stumbled back with a mumble ‘sorry’

into a fella who promptly pushed back

now Tim don’t like being mauled

so he pushed back harder

& the fella landed on a table behind

the group behind liked this fella even less

& started in throwing punches

the fellas crowd stepped up to defend

& there we were: bar fight!

other people wanted in on the action

pretty soon everywhere had erupted

chairs in the air glasses alongside

as Tim tapped his glass against mine

cheers he said again as we leant back

elbows against the bar merry christmas

looks like we got us some entertainment too


into the woods

I went deep into the woods

the places we used to play

make love


wander hand in hand


thought of you

Write, you’d say

just no more fucking poetry

write those stories

the ones about stuff

of love

of people





i took a piece of chalk

wrote her name




a heart

even though

we were no longer lovers


back then

i was older

more mature

than this juvenile

chalk in hand