the ayes have it

my boss felt I was some kind of thug

& discovered all kinds of evidence

that this was true

my woman thought I was her greatest lover

& found everything I did between the sheets

all that I said were sure indications

until that is the wind changed direction

my enemies knew in their bones I was an idiot

as every action word I uttered showed them truths

verified their deep considered deliberations

& there was nothing I could do to change any of that

there were some I taught told me I was kind

compassionate full of warmth & encouragement

while others decided the same words & actions

were signs of insanity sarcasm & subversion

& all of these are truths

while none hold water

the ayes may have it

while the noes hold power

& in all of these

I am but a seeker fumbling his way through

to fall silent

nothing to say

no bragging rights here

& all this is

a conversation between adults about parents

grandparents longevity life

& all I can do is to fall silent

an absent father

now dead

abandoning mother

dead for five years before I found that out

a half brother who never speaks

a half sister who will not speak

to talk of this is to drown out others stories

highlight the missing in mine

better to fall silent

for the scratched scab to itch later

as the clock crawls to four

sitting in her adoring circle

she loved her gay boys

she told me

sitting in her adoring circle

apparently I was jealous

of all her attention

& I hadn’t the heart to say

one such night

as the wine flowed

she sat twittering

one of her adoring boys

whispered to me

she’s such a dog isn’t she?

& I had to leave

never to return

knowing how much she spent out

to keep the wine flowing for her boys

& that if I told her this

she would never believe

shoes off at the door

she was making me a better person

or so she said

shoes off at the door

hoover every other day

dishes done stacked to dry

& sap that I was

I went along with all of this

even if she was married to

living with another

to come to me in the night

for the things we both loved to do

& I had been too long by myself

beer & a rind of cheese in the fridge

cupboards empty but dust

coming home music on

read for a while write for a bit

& all that changed

she taught me her chicken stroganoff

to leave me sleeping sated

off to her home other life

breakfast & kids to school

full fridge drawings stuck on the front

while I woke understanding

I was not a better person

try singing that to the tune

some of my favourite things

places I’ve seen been

that felt like my true home

corner of the street waiting to cross

disused garage fading paint

advertisement for tyres French midi

sleeping hearing the sea on the beach Alicante

mom & pop restaurant orange county

Chinese place off’f powell san francisco

madames under the pines sud atlantique

nights beer & pool Williams ariz.

bright angel trail grand canyon

Italian deli’ Victoria london

corner of estefeta pamplona

Dusseldorf sitting by the Rhine

watching the barges

Berlin misty night walking in the cold

roast pork greens sauerkraut hamburg

climbing the castle Leon in the bright sun

try singing that to the tune of my favourite things

Julie Andrews

slight ritual

burning photographs

I could not quit you

many times I tried

& the last time

I burned your photograph

slight ritual

down there at the beach

ashes to the water

take you away

way out of reach

& pleased to say

all of that worked

all I have of you now

are pictures

half ideas in my head

time can never bleach

you some kind?

there at the thriftshop

she got lots of nervous energy going

that or flying high speedball state

& its eleven in the morning

either way I’m shy of too much contact

but too late she’s checked me out

you some kinda Cherokee?

& I want to retaliate

it’s fucking Navajo bitch

she’s misread the braided hair

turquoise & silver

instead I smile wide as the plains

say

just some white boy ethnic stuff

& that’s enough for her

she’s already moved on

like in the motorcycle swapmeet ariz.

who let the fucking Indian in?

you did honky

you did

I read

read everything that passed these eyes

back of cereal packets

anything lying around got seen

& books out of the library dozen a day

drove the librarian crazy you haven’t read these

& I could get her to choose a page

tell her the ideas on show there shut her up

devoured the great fictions of the day & past

until I get to a place could see the forming plot

see what they were wanting to say

who they were behind the words

what the writing was really all about

who they why they were writing for

& that drew the curtains on that guy

with a very few exceptions but now they are dead

I’d go looking for another genre to hit the spot

on & on consuming every drop of word

I find it hard to find anything now

can help me make it to the very end

these people writing about those well spoken others

I can’t ever care about their well fed lives

nobody much writes on the poor

no one cares much any more about the workers

the livers from day to day living on bare boards

post modern literature has swept all of that away

we’re to be strivers go getters in novels

on the screens pushed in everything we do

& the Be is gone

Zarathustra never knew

the ressentiment

of a Friday afternoon in high summer

waiting for the clock to tick to four

the teacher instructor tutor lecturer

to stop rambling on

& just say:

fuck it

go out be young get drunk take drugs

fuck each other stupid

write paint make music just BE

& lets try to do this again

on Monday

but they never did/do

preferring to wait us out

until the clock dripped towards four

their time our time was up

& unlike Zarathustra in his cold tower

over thinking his life experience being

never did

we did & could go out act out all those things

furious in feelings

& love

living in the moment the now