tell me I said

one of those muddy

long conversation

in which I was told

I’d said something to somebody

that made them feel bad or sad

& had I not realised this?

I have no recall of that chat

can’t think of a thing I’d said

wanted to say bad to the person

we were concerned about today

so tell me I said

why you want me to feel

bad or sad

about something

you did not hear or witness

cannot truthfully reproduce

here between us today

but wish to examine in full

talk endlessly over?

& answer

came there none

we set out

with the intentions of finding

something new

different than what was today

hanging out in squats

dingy rooms mattress on the floors

smoking anything going

drinking what was poured

fucking each other

like today was the last day

& somewhere

though I can’t put my finger

on it now

we lost our way

degenerated into our elders

got the working for a living

nine to five bug

& hated every second of that

it was & is forever

the worst ever drug

reeked of news

lying in bed thinking

best thing in the world

thinking about now

& the then

I had four addresses one year

about average for the times

& mail was a rarity

every now & occasional

I’d get a letter from the old folk

telling me who’d died

who was living & where

& I knew better than

check the envelope for money

because there never was

any my way going spare

they had long given up on me

the watering & feeding

was long gone some

much as I’d given up hope

expecting love consideration

I was living in a different country

making my way to a new home

my own man my own trail

& the letters while holding no money

reeked of news of wanting my fail

a different wisdom

needed the learning

but the movement

out there on the lawn

caught my eye

a leaf waving in the breeze

lollygagging at my eye

& I was reminded

sleeping out under the stars

checking out constellations

hearing the deer eat in the night

badgers sniffing my toes

a different kind of wisdom

taught by connecting

to the world universe beyond

& today my attention

needed bringing back

to things only workers

in offices need know

blue days

& the only thing to work

(the pills will kill you

slow you down

make you forget

who you were


will be)

is to throw that leg over

your motorcycle

ride out of town

(away from the people

who will kill you

slow you down

make you forget

who you were


will be)

find the big nothing

& put some miles

between you

& what ails



all of that is

tiny or nothing

in your rear view

it’ll come to you

somewhere out in the woods

by the thin river

I found the old man

sitting loose

leaning against a stump

whittling on a piece of tree

he smiled asked of me

you got any water son?

so I settled nearby

I’m making me a stick he told

to help me get out of here

ran out of water

kind of everything really

I thought I was easy

forgot I was no longer spry

the things they don’t tell you

about this getting old

is it all catches up on you

taking an easy walk in the woods

becomes a trial

something life threatening


but I was young then

could only smile offer help

he took the water

& fell into step

as we walked out to safety

for him

while for me it was only

to a place I’d been

shouting at kids

there is no win

no matter

being young beautiful

& educated

with shouting at kids

wanting to play

there is no win

there never can be

any back up plan

after the shouting

& I’m watching

wanting to suggest other

maybe de escalation

a conversation

but no

she has already let me know

I have nothing to offer here

such is the indifference

being young beautiful

& educated

shouting at kids

there is no win

there never can be

any back up plan after that

not to interfere

Bar Ato Huesca

mebbe 2 in the afternoon

I’d driven through the pyrennees

needed food

& I belly up to the bar

say cerveza por favour

& the man goes wha?

with his hand to his ear

&  i repeat cerveza por favor presion

& the pantomime goes on

so I point at the pump

do my own mimic indicate small

& he poured me a beer

later I suggest raciones?

point to olives meatballs in tomato

chorizo swimming in oil

he brings me bread & a fork

& all becomes good in the world

just as at the end of the bar

another pale anglo comes in

she walks up slow

looking around nervous

says un café con leche

por favor

& the mime act starts over again

as suddenly I get it

for these Spanish locals

we are too quiet

undemanding & shy

here you need volume

to beat the background noise

silently I urge her to shout

as I’ve learned the hard way

not to interfere

as her gaze sweeps over me

just another unhelpful man

in this world of sweated boys