does the self obsession

of a celebrity

shifting products in the media

matter more

than the half quiet mutterings

of a vagabond

sat on a bench?

the work gap in it

I never had one job

that wasn’t made shit

fucked up by the people there

you know them

the stay lates to appear important

the grimy gouchers who freeload

steal work off’f you claim it as theirs

sap your time energy goodwill

especially deserving hatred

were the proper lost souls

taking their esteem from their job role

assistant assistant asshat

to the deputy manager for petty cash

those who knew the rules inside out

sucking the life out of any fun

to stop the place being a better place to be

this source of incidentals for your life

free heat free light paper for all

whatever you could scavenge

to make a decent day

when all you wanted was to be

a better person

at home reading writing

thinking about things

being with your lover

being in love with the world

not tethered for 8+hours

tied to machines desks computers

to get money

to live a life

destroyed by the work gap in it

& sometimes you cringe

I find difficult the love thing

to be all knowing within situations

understand fully what’s going on

& my hindsight is not 20-20

looking back at how I loved Jane

she could wring all emotions from me

love hate rage jealousy self-pity all on the same day

& I guess I got to learn self-control from this

never wanting another who could build

destroy everything in her self-serving whims

I felt I was giving up sharing secrets

building some kind of intimacy with

the tid bits we hold within away from the light

for her to later use these to demean criticise

& worse reveal to the world to win herself points

those things we keep to ourselves

for fear of mockery shaming in another’s eyes

I had to relearn after her what was hers

what was mine what I could keep for another day

to try to trust with a newer lover build a life

on firmer foundations not on shifty sand

& if letting go was easy we’d all be adrift

lovers would come & go with softer presents

than those of burning bridges sharpened crucifixes

we could look back with happiness

where now sometimes we look back

& all there is to do is offer bitter thanks

for the hard lesson learnt

& cringe

even broke poets got standards

it is all a matter

of where you focus your attention

I knew these people

rel’is if you don’t please

who would come visit look around

see how we lived & sniff

not that we lived in a complete jumble

even broke poets got standards

just that their place was spic n span

while ours always forever

could do it seemed with a dust around

he could code & she could clean

their thoughts seemed to me

to be about exteriors the look

while I was fighting the words for truth

trying to put down a meaningful line

writing training courses for a living

& my girl worked to bring clarity

to people living in the muddy way

who were messing up their lives

we were interior people it seemed

& try as we might

we could never get them to understand

that the examined life is the one

worth living

& they of course

never offered to spring clean for us

Monsieur et Madame

we were bone tired

of endless miles on the road

so long we’d stopped talking

there was nothing else to say today

& I pulled in to a mom & pop

side of the road tired 1star French hotel

we looked & took the room

what else were we gonna do?

I washed my face cooled my hands

& we made it down the dark stairs

past the tall brown stuffed bear

looking at sculptures made of spoons

with a ladle mixed in here & there

the food was good served hot & slow

we ate in silent appreciation

still looking at the spoons everywhere

then up past the rotting bear

sitting amongst the wallpapered ceiling

fighting the fleas hovering our feet

sucking on wine in toothmugs

letting in feelings to bring my heart alive

no tv no radio just an open window

& you sitting there worn out beat

head against the pillow half smile

& then the crashing of pots & pans

madame ripping into monsieur hard

we crept to the window to see the show

as a frying pan slid down the kitchen wall

& any thoughts of tomorrow were gone

like today what we needed to would be done

as she screamed again the dauphinoise

missiled past his ears out into the dark

& you know as well as we do

we never found la Maison again

caught sight of the stuffed rotting bear

in the middle of those brown creaky stairs

saw the sculptures of silver spoons

or that over-wallpapered room

nor found out if Monsieur et Madame

got their second honeymoon

you can tell them clear

but not if they don’t want to hear

you can tell them clear

until your voice becomes hoarse

your face turns puce

the blues have got me today

nailed me to the floor

& you hear them in a smile

say sweetly

oh that’s just not you

have a shower get a shave

pull yourself together move on

to another

I loved you baby

but that feeling is long gone

our paths heading different

it is time to call it a day

& you hear her say

oh its just a rough patch

lets just try over again

& that’s when you realize

who feels who is important here

& who

has to walk away

coming down the pipe

all kids know for sure

their parents are fools

& I made sure

I had the evidence

just to be clear

listened intent

to their conversations

bordering on the banal

the rough ways they displayed

their ignorance on the world stage

listening to politicians

who were obvious fakes

eyes wide as their lies moved crooked lips

& vowed things were gonna change

when my crowd moved into town

& now

I see the mediocrity curse catching

the slow move to grey suits

trousers some kind of fawn

I hear mi compadres talking

like yesterdays news

is fresh from the pot

worshipping woeshipping celebrities

with nothing fresh to offer

but endorsements

for products we already got

& it’s a slow low scream to the death

when there are no new ideas

ways of being to fix this mess

small puddles of mayhem

created by mediocrity

coming down the pipe

who pays the price?

you have to be careful living the right way

because the true path brings you close to

in ever increasing tight contact with

lopers dopers hopheads junkies cheaters

liars no hopers drinkers alkies wetbrains

better than you’ers do gooders dodgers mopers

lowlifers borrowers righteous might’ers

holier than thou’ers preachers leechers

man bites dog’ers fighters god botherers sneakers

no gooders  pan handlers vagabonds fake forgetters

& each of these has something

that they can teach you

bring you closer to the real what you can be

but the second they don’t listen

hold you blood tight to you

you have to let them go

as there is always a price to be paid

for being in touch with the living

those out on the edge of this

& if you’re not careful the price

will be you


she would dream of savagery

but never dare to set shod foot outside her door

wanting dancing with demons amongst the dust

with a darker desert race in lust with love

stuck hiding behind her mothers apron strings

& I was but a brute to tell her this straight truth

her wit & wisdom were not mine to compare

she had read watched devoured each morsel

knowing her real life place was to be out there

while I watched waited urged her to prepare

alas alack her visits were never meant to be

instead she married the brave brawn witty postie

as a traveller telling bold tales of other lives was he

could keep her in the manner accustomed


endless cups of coffee

you can’t help who

you fall in love with

he was fifteen years older than me

we were together for 24 years

had a couple of great kids

& then he died

heart troubles & gone

its ten years now

I use the internet to arrange

& meet men in the coffee shop

I feel it’s a safe place

where I can just blow

if the possible doesn’t work out

I’ve had 30+ cups of coffee

& not one is a possible friend

but they would like intimacy

& that for me

is just not possible right now