& the water is getting cool

there is no doubt

I feel myself a fool lying in the tub

hiding from the world irate women

the day to day

money spent & wasted on foolish things

see above

days frittered away over years

doing things I should know better than

but but eh?

those who would give words to the wise

I saw doing equally stupid things

or so it seemed

why take advice from fools doing foolish things?

at least at least

I could say I forged my own path

stupid foolish tho’ be it may

told you I was a fool

& the water is getting cool

Rosie’s

driving by Rosie’s wine bar & bistro

to find a changed name & colours

that hallowed place of intrigue rumours

where if you got there early you get the high table

otherwise be pushed back into the cellar rooms

the staff would give tastings of tonight’s offer wine

eating moules in garlic using a shell as a picker

breathing fumes & laughter all the while

where my French friends taught me

to drink wine with a glass of water on the side

some wag had written on the French poster of a kid

carrying a baguette: look what I found in the toilet!

where I took my ladies to eat spend quiet evenings

where two of them later the adulteress & the betrayer

plotted my painful demise & I wonder now

how that worked out for them?

new horizons vistas

driving those roads

seen in so many movies

flipping thru’ the stations

dead sounds on the radio

looking at cars the people

so many stories

lives hard soft different

in so so many ways

I will never know

understanding here

is a place a man

could reinvent himself

to be who he wants to be

or just fall thu’ the cracks

end up pushing a trolley

collecting cans bottles

living for the day

just not this day

as I push my foot down

the screen brings up

new horizons vistas

another way

to go

fealty lay

come by

once in a while

painted some fences

dragged gravel around

did the dishes

offered to do some painting

she said no

I got people come do that

they work pretty cheap

seemed she liked them

which was more than

she had going for me

& I tried to retrace my steps

see the place where

we’d stepped out of line

& I think it was doing

these things for free

refusing money

sense of family loyalty

she would love me more

if I’d made her pay

that was where her

fealty lay

which I’m beginning to think

walking where I used to live

I lived over there with xx the one who…

that block I lived with her did the bad thing

here’s the place me & the boys

who too now live elsewhere used to hang out

turned into a bijou restau’ now

that’s the Chinese place would feed us right

and….

the list goes on places shops turned into thrifts

tattoo parlours nail bars pop up bars

all open for a a week two then gone

& there are streets now shops all boarded

where once were the mom & pops

the weekend before pay day

I could kite a cheque knowing

they’d not put it in the bank ‘til the 1’st of the month

& I never see a face I used to know

which I’m beginning to think

is a good thing

people were still people doing people things

whatever it was

I’d had the night before

had worn off & all I was

slumped on a train going somewhere

to go put in a couple of days

talking to strangers about things

we’d agreed they should know

when the train stopped at a rural station

the doors opened & the sun came out

this bright young girl skipped on

along down the aisle & close up followed

the swinging dick who had her captured

for now

eh?

& as she came by I was eye to eye

with her hip line low hanging shorts

peeking out the top her white pants

a neat blue ribbon bow

& then she was gone her gorilla hove into view

smile on his face told me sure as sure

they’d done the nice thing today

he was happy to let us know

& me?

I now knew for sure the world was still turning

people were still people doing people things

eh?

some years later

why did you leave? she asks

I thought we had something going

were good together y’know?

you just upped & left

wouldn’t answer my calls

refused to speak to my friends

& I hear a note in there

of anger maybe bitterness

& I’m torn

between walking away now

or letting her know

decide to let my own go

do you not remember?

we were out with friends

you’d gone out to smoke

& I wandered out

found you kissing your ex

his hand between your legs

full grope

yeah I walked away

decided you were not the person

I thought you to be

& oh was all she said

I didn’t know you knew about that

like if I didn’t

everything would be ok

so you guessed what happened next

I got up & walked away

as just background noise

what gets forgot

by those of us who grew up

in houses of fear

is that we do

we get past that level of threat

or at least we learned to live with it

as just background noise

& what gets forgot

by those who grew up happy

no trauma no violence

is that this can be overcome

& when they find their own fears

whether real or imagined

they don’t have the experience

the live through day to day

to know

understand

that they can get past these

or at least learn to live with it

as just background noise

can’t even now

chasing the fix

not the first time

not even the second or third

can’t even now

name the night

but it happened

lying in your arms

& I wanted that

forever

feeling somehow complete

falling asleep

to wake up side by side

reaching out

of the dark

kissing you again

& ever since

I’d been chasing that fix

& it took me

a long while

that was never

going to happen

ever again

& now you’ve gone

I’m left

scratching that itch

Horse IV

the man could swing a great yarn

I’d give him my time tho’ he had none for my friends

or the others in that now long closed bar

& when the money was gone

he could sit there silent forever

I’d send a beer over

nod touch of the head was all I got

but man I could piss him off

sit still! he’d shout stop shaking the world

listen son there are things will come to you

you can run now walk fast take on grown men

but let me tell you none of that lasts

there will come a time getting out of the tub

walking to get the paper just sitting watching the box

will cause pain you’ve never seen the like

there will be aches in joints ice along your bones

your arms legs guts head won’t do whatever you want

you need to ask what they did once speed of light

& everything you do now will bring that in

think of that when you hit the blacktop riding your bike

get in another fist fight close of the bar night

push yourself too far burning up the world

what I’m telling you will come to you

I looked in his eyes he was telling no lies

but i knew he knew there’d be no telling

this young man full of energy fighting the world

much like him once