one door closing is another

wise woman

I was being fired

& she said with a smile

one door closing is another

opening

but nobody was firing her eh?

as she went on

it’s all about how you view life

& I was rapidly thinking

I wish you’d shut the fuck up

these are not wise words

I’d view life very differently

if I had money

did not need to be here

for the living it brought

& now I’d have to start over

find another who’d hire me

need me be grateful for the opportunity

so I said yeah of course

closed the door on her wistful mutterings

went out into the world

thinking saying nothing to inflame

that bad situation

those were the wise words

here

the inbuilt sadism of tolerance

I learned early

there at school

from the tolerant

those teachers

who could be tolerant

intolerant

at will

in their pleasure

choosing when & where

to display

their abundance of tolerance

the sadism of none

for the unpopular kids

those from poor places

& the kindnesses shown

given to the fashionable smart set

& we learned from that

nothing changes

tolerance is not a virtue

but a whim

that built happiness once

the pills the smoke

the booze

that built happiness once

no longer does

but to give them up

seems the scariest thing

you’ll ever do

but you do

you have to

you can no longer afford to go on

feeding the habits

organising the drugs

buying the bottles

so you let go

for sanity for living

unchained from what once

was liberating

for what else is there

to do?

is hold my coat

money waiting

all y’gotta do

is hold my coat

while I sort these people out

hang with me

while I go here & there

collecting

& thankfully

this is over the phone

not in the flesh

because in person it’d be harder

to say no to his kind invitation

& he’s rambling on

we got people look after you

your family

lawyers n shit

take care of all that

& I ramble back dissemble

I’m not a young lad anymore

got my own things to do

ok he says but any time

you change your mind

want to shift your line of work

there’s money waiting

all y’gotta do

is hold my coat

did for me

I’m not old

or at least I don’t feel that way

but there was a time

a few years maybe a decade or so

I thought I’d never get past thirty

with the pills the blades

that I took to me

& it wasn’t as tho’ others

weren’t doing their best to hurt

I’d been shot at knifed

beaten more times

than I ever want to remember

left lying in the dirt to crawl home

& the accidents motorcycles

cars just falling forever falling

wondering sometimes how I woke up

strange beds places hedges ditches

to pick myself up & keep going

& if I learned anything

in those lean hard years

it was that & only that

to pick myself up & keep going

didn’t matter if that didn’t matter to others

doing that

did for me

would not have helped

he needed a friend

instead chose to make his end

& I wanted to help

would have been there

try to get him through his black days

I understood he was disillusioned

as any bright people are

the closer you get

to anything

any organisation

you begin to see the smoke

mirrors facades illusions

what they say they are

just aren’t

& the trick the truth

is to be who you are

find your own way through

in a world of delusions

be who you be

treat everything everyone you see

as the imposters they are

but no

on reflection

this would not have helped

what they got

these young women

I met & passed on

they thought

they were getting something else

but what they got

was not what they thought

they were getting

& I had no knowing then

they had plans

ideas in their heads

I was just doing me

each day getting better at that

looking for friends

& one or two I feel now

left scarred by the time

we had together

that meeting of ideas plans

& me working out of life

& should we meet again

I think I might be closer

or maybe even further away

from what you thought

I’d be

when we first met

but we now both know

it is too late for all of that

this is what romantic fools do

caught unaware

there at the end of the table

second string actress

high background

no speaking part

the shade style of hair

framing olive face

& I was gone

for a few seconds

thinking of you

this is what romantic fools do

& when I came back into the room

I’d missed details

part of the plot

a moment of humanity

details of colour

the second string actress

had left the stage

the table

was gone

I’d missed the denouement

once more