radar something

any room

any street any city town

I knew when she was there

could find her blindfold

in any room full of people

could feel her presence there

I wasn’t sure if this

was a feature of our obsession

our kind of love

this radar something

I could home in on

& then one day

this gift was gone

as was she

& I’ve never felt that

radar something

ever again

bumptious

bumptious

stupid jobs for silly money

just to get by

pay for things we will never

take with us

anyway

for endless women

who wanted things

as love tokens

as we worked endless hours

shifting things from here

to there & back

I’d last a few weeks

maybe a month

until I found the bumptious one

could be male could be female

but they believed

I should be grateful for

the stupid job for silly money

they would not like my attitude

would make complaints

try to do me in with the boss

these snitches on little better pay

taking the side of the man

being bumptious bootlickers

against people like me

different from the words we had

there was a language

they used

different from the words we had

of sheets & blankets

ice on the inside of windows

jack frost they said

wooden clogs on feet

steel toes metal on heels

that sparked in fights

one set of clothes for school

or going to work

one for Sunday church

a coat for winter

jumpers pullovers cardigans

all these words scattered now

like sheep on a hillside

washed in spring sheets blankets

winter clothes

to be put away in cedar chests

until autumn came

a world now gone

those words we listened to

understood not a one

& then

I am not supposed to feel

anything about this

my girl with the diaphragm

we dated slept together

for a couple of years

never quite committing

& then

she was pregnant

did not know what to do

we were young

endlessly broke

I had nothing to hold onto

she chose the abortion

because I was too chickenshit

to commit

& now

I have no idea where she is

tho’ I know from friends

she is on her second husband

& I wonder if she thinks of this

if at all

these decisions made

that linger on

the signs

what did you used to smoke?

she asked

her own cigarette curling blue wisps

from a tiny silver tin ashtray

Camels I said back

she motioned the barkeep over

got any Camels?

in the machine he pointed

y’need change?

she was off her stool & at the machine

in seconds

oh the signs were there

here she offered on her way back

threw the pack at me

can you get the drinks in?

I need a pee

& after three years off

I was back on the nicotine ride

the signs were there

but I wasn’t listening

just wondering where else

she was gonna take me

would I be able

to hold on

they don’t wanna

I get snippy responses

to the silly shit I send out

find funny

the dad gags etc

that I use to keep in touch

instead of tedious missives

the strained how are you’s ?

these clog up my ipad

one sends back

take the funny I say

if there is one

then delete

so now she returns a

‘done’

& another don’t wanna

he says think about stuff

anymore

& the mourning begins right there

these people once bright funny

out in the world staking claim

reporting on the absurd everywhere

have begun shrinking themselves

their worlds

too serious

y’know

I said to her

as she was making coffee

I think we’re too serious

me? she asked

no we I said

though to be fair

I should probably own it more

we’re too serious

the word is crazy

you me we

can do all the right things

eat drink exercise right

& Bam!

a bus kills you

or a cancer comes in

to finish you off

& what did you me we do

to deserve any of that?

but she wasn’t listening

the coffee had her mind

& these words

had mine

difficult dreams

sometime in the night

lying there immobilised

with memories

plural you’ll note

of difficult times

where I did not behave well

created my own problems

hurt pissed off

other people

& I can tell my self

clear as I will tell you

if you could have

done better

you would have

done better

but no

I continue to offer myself

guilt recriminations

even though

I know none of those people

any more

or can do anything

about those difficult times

& I drift off

into difficult dreams

poste restante

our free version of:

the Mirambeau truckstop

where Mick the truck driver

would stop over

the good relais

pick up any messages

get a meal have a few beers

& be off early in the am

a few years had gone by

since we’d last met up

his first wife had died

then there’d been the Scot

a couple of others

where nothing worked out

& then puff of smoke

he disappeared

& travelling through mirambeau

I remembered his post restante

left a note for him there

& if ever i pass by again

I ask if there is a note for me

there never is

very probably never will be

but one day

there just may be