punk kid

I was a fed-up kid

no money nothing to do

& my old man would interrogate

on my time out of the house

weighed in by my stepmother

looking for openings

places to trip up

& most of the time I was innocent

just hanging out

climbing trees talking shit

who we could beat up

who we had to run from

& then we found an opening

crawl space back of the local sport club

could sit there in the dark

drink a couple of bottle beers

making sure to tidy up after

& there we had our real adventures

once escaping in seconds

as the front door got unlocked

we had secrets now swore never to tell

& no matter how the old man intimidated

how she swore to wear me down

I kept that inside like a fed up

punk kid no money nothing to do

she wants me be

the better person

put on that suit & tie

go hang with the nicer people

& all I can do

is sigh put the duds on

try to make her happy

go hang with the swells

& all I hear from them

is piss & moan about their lives

she’s happy smiling all the way

& I put one of those across this face

its an endure gig tomorrow another day

& later on the way home in the car

she sighs begins bitching

about the ladies & their two faces

so we stop get a drink

leave the niceness behind

listen to the bar music sup a beer

& just let all of that false love

unwind

Warhol’s fifteen

something about

wanting to be the hero

in my own life

but beauty leaves me

standing still lost in awe

violence is nothing new

even the priests

have become enured

housewives & soldiers

are now the only ones

run towards cries for help

industry is created from petals

is how we want it to be

‘cos blood is no longer enough

we want more if you please

even if you don’t please

where nobody is a hero

everybody a long time loser

all for Warhol’s fifteen

& through it all

the child cries in the night

keening low soft moans

for somebody who will never come

nobody is home

while we watch the late programme

& this is how

being the hero of the hour

is taken from all of us

same place another time?

it was time for me to go

that other life I had

earning money paying bills

& if I remember well

you were standing outside

a cafe at the crossroads

as I waved goodbye

& it is too late to wonder

what happened to the us

saying goodbye then

there have been too many oceans

damp paddled feet

roads out of empty deserts

into lost busy city streets

& tho’ I know

everybody is connected

I wonder what life & time

has made of you

would we recognise each other

would want to say hello

to who we may have become

even if we were to meet

at that same spot?

not going that way

we’d met in the local jail

I was doing a week

for non-payment on my motorcycle fines

feeling eating living was preferable

& that choice was an easy one

until they stood me up in court

& decided to lock me up for 7 days

nobody knew where I was

it was probably better that way I felt

it was during the strip search

the shower I met him first

in for a year string of robberies

we talked until the man said shut up

& I never saw him again until now

that year later drinking in a locals bar

he bought me a beer all patter smiles

hello motorcycle boy you busy?

clapping his arm around my shoulder

all old pals & offering a driving job

the next night about 1 in the a m

& how to say No I’m not going that way

& then my friends came flooding in

coming over talking of a roadie gig

next town over humping stuff for the band

sleep in the rig between shows

all the groupies booze & smokes on tap

for the next week

& was I in?

& all I could say was yes

nod to the man I at the bar

say I’m going that way

All those wasted bodies

lying in other rooms

in cities like this one

all over the world

& all I wanted

was a few minutes

of any evening

instead of

watching the shadow

climb the walls

knowing they too were sitting

lying there

wanting another body close by

needing nothing

much more

than company

some meeting of minds

empty aching arms

all those lonely vaginas

comfortless pricks

wanting but a five minute love

then a maybe goodbye

& if more

who knows what could be

while we lie in dead rooms

thinking of the wasted bodies

like ours

wasting away

When you do nothing

except listen

to what the man has to say

invisibly holding the hand

is what we do

when he says

this how I am today

& it might be a ramble

some slow circling story

taking time to reach

the point to say

& if you try to help

push along for him

to spit the gist out

you may never get there

so make today

a slow one & wait

just a while

to take all surprises

all the way

the damage done

ignorance was not on my side

despite my best intentions

they had me marked

as some kind of beast

worthy of nothing

call it thug

& what could I do?

once they’ve named you

put the shame into the world

there is no road back to be free

& how could I tell them

the times here all alone

listening to Patty Griffin

into the long night

letting the tears just be

wanting to feel

some other touch

other than my own

& knowing the damage is done

not particularly painful

if unwanted uninvited

something as simple as

slipping into a Sunday afternoon bath

Badedas green water & bubbles

novel fat towel to the side

good glass of Corbiere

heat hot up to my shoulders

easing the tension held there

& then a memory bursts through

I’m two years old

smallest kid in the boys dorm

at the children’s home

& last to go in the bath

that grey going on black puddle

flat reflecting strip light overhead

the nurse forceful & harsh

don’t be a baby get in in!

the water was cool

I’d jump in splash a bit jump out

standing on cold lino’ to dry

on the already used damp thin towel

not a particularly painful memory

but one that surprises in being

unlocked not retrieved for so many years

as I lie cocooned by this hot bath

wondering

why now to deliver this?