hogs back

about 4 in the morning

dark with a hint on the horizon

leaving you sleeping

I came flying off the hogs back

that long sweeping curve

kept getting tighter tighter

leaning my beemer r100r lower

lower still lower still

& I could see the grass close

feel tall weeds whipping my head

& everything slowed

the moment stretched out the seconds

I wanted to reach out feel the green

my body taught holding the lean

then bam!

sliding out on the highway

having to lift

shift gears

crank upright

speedo reading 65mph

as the laughter came

the love of being alive

with nobody to tell

but the wind

as if

I can guess

these who retreat

into silence

I don’t wanna speak

with you no more

you are dead to me

as if

that was ever

the victors position

& I can’t say for sure

what they are thinking

but I can guess

& I bet it involves

fingers pointing

names being called

like we did back then

in junior school

thankfully

in the street

she says hello

in the way that says

I’m glad we said goodbye

while you look at her

checking this is the same person

once loved you

told you she’d do anything

you wanted

for ever

any time you asked her

& you say hello too

when you really want to ask

just wtf happened?

did I bore you?

did I get bored with you?

but she’s gone moved on

thankfully

no good deed

I held her hand a few times

over the years

contributed to the love

where &

when I could

did my bit to help her shine

not to take away her glitter

be in the mix of those

of her life

not one of the bad ones

who came later

tho’ now she doesn’t know

finds it hard to understand

who I was in her

her mothers life

& can’t or won’t talk

give the time of day

did I do these things as part of

or for reward?

as it feels now

no good deed

goes unpunished

never happened No.162

dear poets girlfriend

we write to offer you our help & support

in any way you might need it

we hear from others that he is a beast

prone to excitement

clashing emotions

mad rages day & night

& that he may not treat you well

worse we’ve heard stories

where he mistreats you

screams abuse all hours

will lock himself away not talk at all

putting down his crazy thoughts

until he makes severe demands on you

again

if we can help in any way

do let us know

the gossip crew

hazel

she was blonde & beautiful

& all she saw in me was an escape

which seemed fair enough

as I was escaping in her too

she’d stay over when I had to work

practising her tattooing

on the single guys living in the block

as those with shack jobs knew their women

would never let her get near them

& I had no worries they’d steal her away

none of them could offer better escape

than the offer I had going for now

but they’d complain long & bitter

your girlfriends tattoo did not take

showing me pained legs arms scarred red

hey it was free you had her company

what has that got to do with me?

they’d say I didn’t understand

but they knew

always been like this right down the line

mebbe the laziest man I know

you don’t call he says when we meet

which deserves a strong answer

I called you yesterday half ten in the a m

& you were in bed you said

would call back later & never did

so I had to call again fix today

called last week after three in the afternoon

I’ll go get him she said

he’s asleep in the chair having a snooze

anyways when did you last call me?

ok ok its these pills I take I’m tired all the time

& right then I didn’t have the heart start of a fight

today to tell him straight to his face

he’d always been like this right down the line

just kept on spaffing words

so much to misconstrue

I was listening half awake

as a body does

all those years in school

was it me or was it the way

how that person standing up front

just kept on spaffing words

no matter the time of day

& what I wanted was to learn

about the things might help me

get out from where I was

keep going until the world was happy enough

to hear words clear spoken

enough love to make me stay

not this do this don’t do that rules

made up on the spot

to make us fools every which way

we were not that

sleeping

very early in the a.m.

came a knock at the door

there they were the police

wanting to talk of a murder

done many years before

claiming me & dave spade

had killed a man taken his body

out to the backwoods buried him deep

carried on our lives

as though nothing had happened

& I wanted time to think explore

had we repressed this?

been so callous taken life so cheap

left no evidence just to carry on to forget

keep our conscience clear?

& when I woke still feeling some cloud of guilt

I rang the dave spade suggested we meet

but by the time we got together

this was no more than a crazy dream

we laughed it over spoke of the stupid things

our escapades dangerous times in youth

how capable of we were then in that hazy living brings

but no we’d never taken that backwoods walk

whatever we were

we were not that

they will try you

I hear you write he goes

wondering when

you might

set the world on fire?

& I could have gone angry

could have given sarcasm

& if I was quicker of thought

some equally snide remark

made fly with asinine

but I opened a smile

wide as the sky

why would I do that?

there are some bits

I’m really fond of

& that was enough

to confuse him

at least for a little while