I burned through them baby

there with my youth

energy ideas & looks

all on my side

like a knife through butter

nothing taken or given

just excitement

lust love sex

life

each of us accepting rejecting

moving on to other newer times

& now I hear one has gone

taken by death silence

no more shining in the sun

& I couldn’t ask for details

burn or burial

to think of that beauty

twisted & torn

no chance now for apologies

forgive me’s for being young

arrogant

that everything would continue

in the way life had always done

feel the need to

things

I never want to think about

neurotically have to

being built that way

how limited I was

back when I met you

times I found myself wanting

failing to understand

the gap between my thoughts

& everyday actions

that space made clear

of theory

& dull practice

difference in the way of

loving & breathing

just an ordinary man

doing the best he can

learning as i go along

thinking my way through

& the surprise

in that some of you never

ever

feel the need to

she wants answers

I worked with her dad

now deceased

some years ago

& she has just found out

he was not her biological father

& wishes to know stuff

I tell her he loved her

what else is there?

her mothers’ infidelity

that he bore it well?

but she wants answers

I suggest she talk to her mother

but that don’t sit right

somehow

I just want to talk with him

she goes

& I gently suggest

your mother is the actor

in all of this

go ask her

she gets all upset she says

but no

she loved her dad the best

& wants to know

more

from the one who

stayed silent so long

Hungry

back when she fed me

out of date food from her mothers’ shop

boxes of snacks battered tins

& I was grateful for that largesse

& now

I visited her about a year

before she died

took her & her deadbeat man out

bought drinks & a meal

he snuffled it all right up

king for the day

later she apologised

for his appetite

manners or lack of

& I reminded her the beggar

there once at her door

oh that was different she laughed

you made me feel good about that

but this…?

maybe I said one day he’ll wake

get out there in the world

find the thing he loves

become the man he once was again

& all she did was sigh

& later at her funeral

he sat with me

telling me how like me he was

& I had to agree

we did both love the same woman

D had been laid off

winter being down time for the muck shift

working heavy machinery building roads

& called to say he was broke

could I help at all?

all he had was a mobile home

somewhere out next to a muddy track

I had nothing not even a hangover

scrounged around found a tin or two

old packets of dead dried soup

stuck my thumb into the December black

set out to see if I could help & the cars came slow

I wasn’t a pretty picture on the side of the road

me needing their ride their heater full on

talking up my mission of mercy

one guy bought me a coffee & doughnut

& the last ride gave me a five

with a bible tract said the lord would help

all I had to do was pray & he’d take the load

& when I got there D had had a come up

some money the govt said it owed

we had us a drink on that got a meal

& during the night the rats came in

to get out of the cold eating slices of bread

we had nothing for breakfast then

as I stepped back out into the dark

all I was holding the cold the road my thumb

headed back to where I came from

but at least now I had a hangover

five lanes full on to hell

early Saturday morning

heading into the big city

the morning sun there somewhere

hidden behind fine mist rain curtains

rooster tails thrown up by the cars

five lanes full on to hell

suddenly a sea of red lights

& we stop

sitting there for long minutes

I turn off the engine

no silence

the whoosh of the car tyres

on the other side of the barrier

we sit checking the radio

for local station idents

hoping for a traffic alert

but no

& any screaming

is left to the internal

maybe a mute sigh

we talk softly of our plans

the time delay

& then we all start up again

slowly gaining speed

up to 20 then 30

we pass the bashed in barrier

car front end ripped off

everybody slowing to rubberneck

eye the tragedy

pictures to retell think of later

& then back up to speed

all of that is gone

left behind

on to the city now

on our five narrow lanes

heading to hell

if time is an illusion

cold nights

I held on to you

as the world whirled away

spinning stories

to take away the hours

hoping some of these

could come true

we were so young then

everything lay in front

so much less left behind

if time is an illusion

ours then was but a dream

holding on to something

much better than nothing

& we had plenty of that

lovers lost in talking the night

this story is never old

never young

only endlessly repeating

history of dreams

I read the great book

written by the great man

devoured every word

thought it interesting

what a life to lead

& that was that

until a few years later

pulled up a copy in a thrift store

signed by the dude himself

& read it again

this time being older

having made

my own changes

I found insights

truths pushing to the fore

understanding of

who the man

had been

the wit

wisdom showing through

& just maybe

if I wait a couple years more

I might get down to

who he was

when he was writing

wanting himself to be

it’ll be gravy man just you watch & see

I’ve known

unfortunately heard

garage rock bands

all chords & slow drums

aware they were going to be big

then split within a month

due to musical differences

aka ego

late night daubers

involved in their technique

begging for wall space in cafes

hustling the concrete

make ends meet

but Bob

I worked with Bob

such a short time

pressing plastic injection levers

ejecting mass produced goods

if we can stretch that meaning

Bob believed

one day he would run the factory

be the boss of all he surveyed

it’ll be gravy man

just you watch & see

& after one late night too long

they had to let me go

one too many levers pulled wrong

I saw Bob some years later

waiting to cross the street

no difference in demeanour

no advancement writ large

on those wanting to be big feet

he caught my eye looked away

just one more worker bee

caught in the headlights

of the company

steamed windows

the true way

the only way

when the gig is over

love is done

is to pack up all your shit

move out the same day

don’t leave a note

be there when she comes home

say

this is over

give her the keys

& walk away

but no

we gotta have reasons

post mortems

discussions arguments

please stays

& all you wanna say

is remember baby

the days

when we steamed up the windows?

all that passion has long been gone

& today

I woke up

understanding

they were never

gonna come again