being my father

too many years much effort was spent

being different to my dad

whatever he originated

I did the opposite

to never be the same as him

until I got the good advice

you will never be you

until you fully accept how much of him

is in you

is you

& that required thought

decided the way through

I spent a weekend being my forebear

doing everything in the way of him

impersonating my pere all the ways I could

channelling the energy the drive

his half chuckle

that I found to be nerves in a crowd

the half dance he did on the spot

waiting for the phone

to connect

hiding behind the door in company

doing the dishes while listening to every word

to be around but not in conversations going

& found much that I am my father

my dad is in me

& by the end of the weekend

I began to see the real differences

between me & my originator

how I shy from crowds people

but also i

can be there expressing my thoughts

in a room of friends

open to feelings

& fully present

as me

no two fires

starting out as a backwoodsman

learning to start a fire

at first you grab whatever is handy

attempt to build with that

& it burns out pretty quick

as you don’t have enough at hand

to sustain your fire

but you learn & when it is cold

you learn pretty fast

you learn to gather kindling

starter stuff

bigger sticks then logs to make sure

once you’ve got it started

you can maintain your warmth source

& no two fires are the same

even though you’ve done all the preparation

one will burn fast giving out heat

then die no matter what you do

while the better one will start slow

& burn on a long time

providing heat through the night

but we’re not really talking about fires here

are we?

when we go

she goes

to go see her mother

been fifteen years since

the old man went on

now she sits alone

doing crosswords

puzzles keep her mind active

she comes back

mum’s bored she says

sitting in on a sunny day

hearing going

sight much the same

I think she misses my dad

if I remember clear I say

she did nothing but complain

about him while he was here

yes

well

she goes

& I think too on how

this one gets fed up

with my conversations

ideas

have you noticed….?

I’m thinking about

there is fuckery afoot in this tv report

but not to worry

they do get a long time of silence

when we go

pointing fingers

I’m taking it slow

this one never having learnt logic

or thesis antithesis synthesis

any way of moving the conversation

forward

he thinks says I’m eccentric

& I’m suggesting

polite as

all that means is

I do/say/wear/write things

he would never do

my sphere of acting in the world

is different to his

but he’s pointed out his truth

& somewhere somebody

taught him that’s all he has to do

& from his looks around

is expecting a medal to arrive

some point soon

so I say thank you

for letting me know how you feel

& the best of that is

he has now idea how eccentric

that is

for his pointing fingers

having pointed move on

for other things to point at

I can take the pain

you can hit me over & over

& I will stand up tall

take it all

I learned early

to retreat inside

flat faced saying nothing

teeth clenched

so you can hit me again

& I will not move an inch

but this torture you do

words twisting

whistling the wind to come

sharper than knives

kill me deeper

than your fists kicks ever did

& you may not see the tears

falling inside

I know more than you ever will

when all you got to give is hurt

I can no longer linger here

but that doesn’t mean

your hurting isn’t on me

just that I will not let it show

trapped

by wanting good love

to be part of what should be

never can be

& bad love is all around

zombies feel the hunger

come running slow

hoping

I’ll take what’s on offer

don’t know the difference

between dead or alive

& there was a while there

I took what I could

& did not know that difference

sustain

these boys saying yes yes

to their loved ones

here beneath my seat at this cafe table

me sipping white americano & brandy

them walking alongside their lovelies

hoping yes is enough to keep

them everything happy

as if yes’ing is enough

to sustain the relationship

I can see the motto now

a happy wife is a happy life

picked out in black on the wall

feeling good housekeeping is

that giving up on themselves

is the key

out of the divorce courts

that of immediacy & now

there is a fancy name

out there in the literature

female narcissistic disorder

& rightly we have concerns

some sense of sadness

about all of that

but in the felt world

that of immediacy & now

we call her the poison dwarf

she has told her story for so long

even she believes every word

working to rack up sympathy

cadres of helpers fight the fight

against this uncaring riven world

our poor soul sinned against

& I admire the artistry in design

the lines eliciting call response

if despising the motive hidden

for vengeance on those

who do not worship at her feet

trying to be cool

I was hoping to explain

trying to be cool

will be a waste of all your time

either you are or you aren’t

kinda cool don’t cut it

& sorta in the zone

is a long cut for no

I didn’t think I’d get through

he was on his way to search

for the good shoes

right cut of jeans

& shirt to make the ensemble pop

kid had the money

to really buy his way in

I offered kind as

he’ll be a long time running

keeping on to be in

& then I caught his look

checking out my cut

the don’t give a shit dress code

& his casual soft lip sneer said

what the fuck would I know

about cool?

noises you make

it started how I said pan

instead of saucepan

how I expressed myself

after taking a long drink

becomes about the noise you make

peeing in the night

those soft sighs

grunts reading the paper

driving in the fog

& then I knew it was going downhill

though it took a while longer

for the lesson to kick in

& today

she is moaning at him

two bowed souls clutching carriers

walking the street

heading home from shopping

passing beneath me

his uselessness standing mute

in front of things she wants to see

she might think

she was wearing him down

but missed herself

& me too