Not an easy crowd

it was over

but she hadn’t told me yet

as ever

the sap is the last to know

& I was in fine form

talking a yard a minute

hitting my marks

had tales to show

but this troupe

were not with me tonight

oh I knew something was wrong

just could not place the mood

& she came in

the mob turned as one

offering love in spades

we must talk she spoke

& I knew in my watery ankles

this would be the end

& there is a relief to know

the why of the clique

if the sadness of an end

knowing nothing of anything said

I had the sense

this was not my crowd

but a mob

with a lynching in mind

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Can’t be doing with

She smiles at me

I’m back in my place

by the window

I can see the sea

people wandering by

nobody need talk to me

in this tight spot

she smiles

& I smile back

after all

a gentleman

is never not intentionally rude

hoping the smile is all

but no

I see you here often

by yourself

does your wife ever come?

oh she’s shopping

she might come by in a minute

I lie blithely

wanting to end this

friendly encounter

her smile disappears

her sandwich becomes interesting

again

she eats

drinks her coffee

& goes

& I slyly peek at her figure

nicely dressed

good form

no doubt a great

nice woman

but I can’t be doing with

all that new old anymore

she’d be lovely

her nest would be all prim & proper

would have kids

she no longer sees

who facebook occasionally

or all the time

with senseless life homilies

some small yappy mutt

that shits in the street

or a wandering cat

a half mad brother

who wouldn’t like me

one aged parent needing care

& her own needs

of course

would be small

but urgent

don’t you understand?

Not looking up

lunchtime

hungry

a hard morning shifting

moving hardware here to there

no lunch box with a note

sandwich made with care

walking out to the main street

find a place to eat

thinking of this time between loves

there a café

you go in

look for the board with the menu

& a young woman in a pinny says

can I help you sir?

& you look up to notice

it is all women

every one staring at you

looking up & down

muttering to each other

as they take in

work boots

raggedy pants

sweated shirt

coffee & a ham sandwich please

do you have a seat in the window?

the coffee arrives quick

along with the girl & the bill

you pay & the sandwich arrives soon after

& the realisation hits

they are getting you to pay up front

the mutter from the ladies at lunch

simmers down as they see you pay

they go back to their nice times

you eat & swallow

eat & ponder this bullshit

how you invaded a womens parlour

badly reminded them

of their working men

paying for this safe space

you finish

stand up

look at all the ladies

bow

& take your leave

things

are not looking up

Who are ya?

I know this

our illusions will take over

telling the world this

making sure they don’t find out

about the hidden that

& you face yourself in the mirror

who am I to be today?

checking the responses

against self belief

to keep these size nines firm

planted on the ground

stripping away the illusions

you want to believe

good person

savage lover

best friend

professional

no snide sides

family man

& if the feedback coming strong don’t fit

you must push yourself

struggling against the light shine

to begin again to re evaluate

or you end as a caricature

from where you began

but lord it ain’t easy

rather to be head in the clouds

missile’ing delusion towards grief

unknowing these others

you out loud proclaim

to care deeply about

behind their hands

are waiting for your fall

to the bosom of their ground

Do you listen?

he says

you write crazy

missing commas

full stops

your words all over the page

no sense where a line

ends

begins

& I loved the guy

my English teacher

understood where he was

coming from

if not him where I was going

& I wanted to talk to him straight

but he saw me as just one more kid

unstable with the grammar

fodder for the work system

knowing nothing of my aim at the clouds

he wanted his life for me

university learning to teach

pleasant wife

enough to eat

rinse

repeat

ad infinitum

 

for Chris (steve) Adams

Wish

it is what you want

to wish

place upon

on your worst enemy

not the ones you love

when that time comes

& you hear their pain

deep & so very low

& you want to grant

their wish to go

finally get release

& instead you wait

slow

sad to the bone

holding grief

waiting

& waiting again

just, its just

they get lonely

while he was here

she moaned softly

about his ways

doing things

not doing things

& now it’s been

what?

fifteen years

more

& counting

she feels lonely

has been through stages

angry he died on her

reconciliation with the truth

he provided for her financially

& she moans about that

too

just

it’s just

just now she knows

it is her that is the unhappy person

& the loneliness

is the crush of that

she has nobody to place

that unhappiness upon

that is her burden

alone

until the end