& now

they forget they made their positions plain

back then there was nothing for me

except very much more of the same

shame slander embarrassment & pain

tho’ they wonder why I set my face to go

away from them out happy into the rain

to sleep on beds of freezing bricks & cold

struggling to find something to hold on to

as they whisper now we have always been here

they forget I remember the nights no answers

their telephone ringing no ansaphone clear

no letters replied no responses no call backs

the times they kicked the dog no mind

I learned to stand maybe a little crooked

nevermind my leanings I grew them myself

sometimes sitting or standing these two feet

hey honey

he’s creative she coo’s

we gotta be quiet while he sleeps

he was up all night doing this

as she soft indicates a daubed canvas

slashes of colour shot through

windmill paint thrown left & right

& I can if inclined describe

the slow lazy motions gone through to do

musta taken a while I say

though I’m thinking will she get satire?

oooh yes he ponders for ages

the technique to use style in mind

then executes his vision quickly

so as not to lose the creative muse

this is beyond satire obviously

& the great man stirs hoves into view

smiling all shy our inspection of his show

takes me to one side you seen Bill?

I got me the come down blues

speeding all night I need some Valium

lets go out get some beer

hey honey

we’re going out for a while

you seen my shoes?

kir s’il vous plait

dirty sign side of the road

washed dark with tyre spray

single bulb lighting FRITES

& I was hungry enough to stop

parked up went in through a dark door

to a just opened easy food smell

a little brunette smiled b’jour

offered me a table close to her

& I realised I’d not spoken

for close on to two days

hearing my voice rasp slow

kir s’il vous plait

which surprised her some

she brought that & a plastic menu

drifted back to her kitchen

while I pondered over steak or burger

could this be love?

I ordered the steak & of course frites

which she brought with a smile

a cold beer from the presion tap

suggested bon’appetit & was gone

while I wished we could talk more

after eating I ordered a café crem grande

& still nobody else had appeared

I thanked her paid fifteen euros

left a tip sighed a’voir thinking adios

creaked through the door into the rain

out into my world of driving & silence

once more

the dark boy

I never pleaded

cried bled out

I’d just stand there

straight faced

dumb as a fence post

with nothing to say

no mitigation

no justification

for whatever crime

they thought

I was guilty of

today

& they’d lay in

empty words into deaf ears

they really couldn’t hear me

even if I’d tried

I was the dark boy

sitting at the back

guilty by association

from birth from genesis

but I knew

this was their need their fear

& that one day unlike them

I’d be getting out of here

& your wise men don’t know

if there is any certainty

in an insecure world

it is that I know

I am indeed stupid

thick as the proverbial

immune to nuance

blind to asides

incapable of inference

snide to subtleties

slow to reference

just plain dumb

when it comes

to picking up clues

hints insinuations pointers

should you tip the wink

provide a whiff of inkling

a soupcon speck in suggestion

so say it plain please

if you want my company

& put my slow mind at ease

turned down low

just a song on the radio

& I turn it down low

tho’ I can still hear the singing

but y’know low yet deep

I really don’t want to know

reminds me of the time

she hated me

told me so

how I’d pulled her down

taken away her confidence

since the beginning

always had done

& none of that made sense

I’d forever loved her

since the beginning

all I had was to run away

no words I could say

would shift the shit

she had in her head

& now

it’s just a song on the radio

turned down low

tho’ I can feel

soft tears coming

I don’t ever want to show

hierarchies

she loved the snobbery

looking down her nose

sorting out the neighbours

better than being more money

lower than fewer toys they owned

always looking out for status

never within

failing to understand

grasp the nettle of real class

being who you are

doing the stuff you need

ever want to do

because

these are the important things

to do for your kith & kin

not for how they look to others

I saw her try to catch their eye

showing out new shoes clothes

carpets curtains furniture cars

watch them try to slide by unseen

not get caught up in her dramas

felt her interpret that misguided

into her hierarchies where

of course

she would be queen

stripped the bone clean

walking these streets

knowing I would never

pass this way again

not in rage even sorrow

no feelings faint aflame

the quiet comes of knowing

I’d taken everything

on offer here

stripped the bone clean

to get me to walk this way

come by to tread this path

I’d need more than rain

maybe money promises of love

something other than

what had been fed before

& knowing none of that

will ever be possible

even the score

putting words together

sitting a cold room

staring at paper

trying to get the words right

aiming to forgive

let go of things from before

rehearsing them in a dim light

so I could go out

try to even the score

soothe wounds

help these scab over

maybe heal

& they didn’t want forgiveness

not that I was looking

for apologies

sorry’s to smoothe

just a fresh start begin to try over

in a different direction

I was writing songs

hoping the band could find a melody

wanting you to sing along

& nobody could hear the sweet words

I’d strung in a line for you

some thin thing about trying to be lovers

making the best of a poor start

maybe we’d make it be true

how the past don’t have to be repeated

though I could see a distant dim light

heading down that dark tunnel fast

& they brought in a different guy

could sing better throw out a faster lyric

as you went in a different direction

while I found another fleeting beauty

trying to make some thin thing last

like these sweet words never do