don’t choose me

she had a poison way about her

could see her flutter between people

watch them turn then to look at me

folk who had always been pleasant

now throwing cold shade my way

& I have no idea what she was saying

but I can guess it would not be fun

& I could spend years trying be nice

working to throw off bullshit thrown around

but thinking more if you have to choose

of your truth between the poison pen & me

please don’t ever choose me

some sepia sun

these blue days

where you keep

your voice silent

in case others hear

the silent choking weep

begin to look hard see that

gouging pain behind the eyes

where all you want to do

is to sit silent holding on

to the chair the room

whirl of nothing in your head

hoping & waiting

for light to appear

some sepia sun

seeping under the door

flooding serotonin in

again

please

inching in bits

the confidence goes

second by second

inching in bits

looking around for a better time

& where once you’d march in

head held high

comes a slouch soft

was it waking alone

once too often?

too many rejections

in a row

wrong turns on the lust highway

reaching to dead ends

time wasted today

yesterday

all to try over once more

hoping against experience

for something to come

to be fair

I had two attempts at this

my birth mother who ran away

& a step mother

who said straight

I just can’t do care

so when I see on the tv

a mother’s love lasts forever

mums are the best

mummas hold unconditional love

& on & on

I have no idea what these people

are talking about

especially when then

they discount the role of dads

say what you like about that cat

at least he hung in did his best

tried to be there

I offer this not for pity

some thin stretched sympathy

just to say

so much is taken for granted

on that thing they call tv

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