as the light fingers

looking back

tends to be a small hours killer

time & feelings

money wasted on things

people

thrown bad love after good was gone

far too long after the horse had flown

worn clothes wrong time of day

say the folk trying to find

some reason to put a lock on me

& I wonder if I ever felt awkward

in my soul

over these things

& the answer comes

as the light fingers

edge of the window

no

This one

This one came with a knife

screaming to kill

at 2 in the a.m.

over some small smile i’d flashed

in the tedious party at her friend

&

this one got her dad his friends

to chase me through darkened docks

false claiming she was pregnant

I had to hide trembling in a crate

under a tarp a cloud

&

this one came at me with claws

that i never loved her, truly loved her

she had a point

i’d stuck my dick in crazy

regretted it was edging towards her door

&

this one used her friends

to create a wall against

because i’d left her

alone with her coldness

to find warmth in anothers way

&

this one this one

brings me love drinks and food

extra portions every single day

out of all of them

this one will be the true killer

these

rough boys

tough boys

I call friends

though I only hang onto

maybe 1 in a hundred

the one who can lay out a crowd

swinging fists banging drums

fight to the last man

though I love him

for his collection of antiques

respect in the late nights

holding on to dying friends

this one paints his soul

though his shakes

lend a presence on canvas

telling stories seldom told

& if I were to bring them

into your life

you’d wonder I think

what must the other

ninety nine have been like

I took a seat

tiny row at the back

& all there was

a candle burning slow

a lady fussing at flowers

& me

wondering how to begin

make what happens happen

or was I too late for the show?

& the padre wandered in

did that thing people do at home

looking around see what was different

from the last time

& he saw me came right over

shook my hand

talked about the place

could see knew I was new to this

offered to help any way he could

& suddenly my heart felt foolish

how to tell this good shepherd

the things I wanted to do

over a woman I thought I loved

how a man can get so black

over these things passing through

I shook his hand said thank you for your time

put pennies in the slotted box

made my way out into the sunshine

took the route home slow

there were no answers given

but I had them anyhow

I coulda been a contender charlie

Jade was a judo champion

represented her county

had eyes

on being an Olympian someday

& I?

was just an ordinary dog seaman

& full of that

we met as bored kids

wandering a small shoreline town

we’d go eat & find a quiet bar

talk for hours

her of her hopes & wishes

& I?

the nothing I felt

so little caught me

except the music the words

down on paper thing

then we’d wander the town

just hanging out

then she never turned up

I walked got something to eat

had a drink in the quiet bar

& wondered on how this too

had not caught me

I coulda been a contender charlie

carrying her kit bag to events

being her number 1 fan

the champions man

but no

ever will be

Red eyed dogs

slavering with froth

mothers in law who tell it like it will be

lovers who want love but cannot give

hustlers with you in mind

anybody with a get rich quick scheme

those with hate filled minds

people with want as their creed

fat cops with attitude

teachers holding malice

poor intent

preachers spreading diktats as truth

& all you can do is withdraw

create an ever decreasing circle

until all that is left is you

like it is

like it was

& ever will be

ask the wise

alone on the mountain

do not call

no drunk dialling

nostalgia blooms

self pity storms

for all of this is

is a how do you do?

I wouldn’t want to start

the us up all over again

but that’s not to say

in the grey small hours

I’d love to know how life

has treated you

if I ever love someone

there’s always a bit of me embedded

entwined as a poison vine

& if I had a flashing button

all is ok with you

that would be enough to hold

let me forget again

for a little while

the louse writes

when they decide

to interpret

rather than be

the game is over

somewhere somebody

had told her I was a louse

was mean to women

‘cos it only matters

if you are mean to women

(& yet I was the sexist)

if I was being kind

that was me being manipulative

if being mean well that fitted

the given narrative

I suggested we part friends

say goodbye before the tears began

& you guessed it

that was me being mean

bedazzled

out in the desert

she took my sunglasses

leaned right over

lifted them right off my face

I want to see your eyes

when I’m talking to you

make sure you tell me the truth

& bedazzled as I was by her

I was missing the clue

one of us was not being straight

so I squinted in the sun

as she talked on

getting a headache

was it from her

from deception

or was it the sun?

party invite

I don’t get too many these days

but she said come along

there’s this guy who writes

I think you’ll get on

but she forgot to say it was a teachers party

& of course they were all present & correct

watching each other like hawks for transgressions

they weren’t interested in anybody

who wasn’t a teacher just like them

the party didn’t get moving until gone 12

by then they’d lost their jackets inhibitions

had ploughed deep into the sauce of life

I tried talking to the guy

he was fitting the poesy in

between marking teaching his wife & kids

& I wanted to stop him right there

say whoa that’s where you’re getting it wrong

but first he had to show me some sonnets

nicely printed clean paper lines of neat punctuation

I felt the drowse coming on

made my excuses had to leave in case

that kind of thing was catching

I hear he’s doing ok in the anthologies

the ones between gilt & floral covers

the kind you get as xmas gifts from aged aunts

around the age of twelve

with a hope the poetry is going well

here’s some poems from teachers

might as well say too

to help stifle your life