cartoon spit

& you get angry

the gnashing

grinding teeth kind

cartoon spit

corner of the mouth

wheeling eyes

is she sleeping with him?

you think thoughts




holding his cock


all those things she did


with you

all those pretty pictures

slashed through

as you try not to think

of her

& him

doing the everything

it passes

it passes

it does

in time

another judy turns up

someone to love

be with

for a while

& you do all those


you did once

with her

the picture stays rent

& you stick it

in yesterdays album

& then the wheel

cycles again

around midnight

end of the city street

I was walking back

had a quiet evening-for me

they’d enjoyed the stories

& the crowds

& there she was-again

drunk in a waver

biting her cheek

looking left, right, up & down

wondering where to go

& I did want her

& I’d done my best to let go

hi, she said, all soft, slow

where you going?

she started then

hitching up a falling stocking

I was hooked

looked at me in a smile

she knew she was coming with

you got a bottle?

there was a time

I thought it was me

or maybe my cock she loved

but it was always the bottle

we went back to mine

sat on the bed

poured her a stiff one

I hate you she said

knocking it back

holding out her glass

for a repour

come here you bastard

began fumbling with my pants

I want you in me

but first this

& I feel the sting of the spirits

in her mouth on my cock

& I could do this forever

with her

& the problem was not me

& the problem was not her

it was always the booze

first she’d play nice

then the slut

then the bitch with a mouth

I’d want to nail shut

she’d get into the throwing thing

words on my failures

her better lovers

empty bottles

stuff on the floor

anything not nailed down

& she’d flounce


leaving wreckage

that shitty feeling

humans get after abuse

& I’d swear no more

& I’d open the door


the next time

finally she found

a new fountain of booze

a fresh pretty boy to whip

I was such a lost patsy

finding myself missing her

or was it just

really, only

those late night hips?


We celts love the water

if fearing its darker moments

feeling it as a living

different breathing thing

our rivers & seas are our home

what you regarded as empty

we saw as our lifeline

your roads were not built then

for people who came later

on paths you had to build

& the waters

met in between

were only an obstacle

to overcome

until you saw

how we could move

quickly around you

to strongholds in wales

ireland, spain, france

the northern lands

you learned our names

for these

the victor the spoils

tried to make them your own

by forcing changes of names

but like the sea

we keep on going

impossible to slave

we are here still

living by the sea

& now

tending your graves


Voices thick with food

as they talk idiocies

at the next table

talking while they eat

guests who take

the last cold beer

from the fridge

& don’t go buy more

those who shuffle by

making the soft shoe shhh

there in the street

never picking up

dead dragging feet

coffee breath in my ear

inching into my face

taking up

my fuck you space


that’ll do

for now

Somebody said

he was a trainee therapist

looking for clients

it was a free service

& I was in climb down

after ending with Jane again


because she would

always knock my door

offer to blow me

take me to bed

then fuck me up again later

he came to me

it was a visiting service

I was drinking orange juice

what’s in the juice? He asked

all low, slow & sneaky quiet

juice I said, y’want some?

no, he replied, I don’t drink early

wait, I say, just orange juice

here, look, taste, waving it at him

he declined

& that’s how it started

I thought he was a fucking idiot

& for some reason

he thought I was a lush

I tried talking about Jane

how I thought I loved her

how she’d beat on me

fuck other men

(not counting her husband)

throw my stuff around

is this after drinking? he asked

yes, I said, it’s what we do

I’ve not spent a day

with her sober, or me sober

she arrives drunk, demanding more

have you always been like this?

no, I’ve had sober girlfriends before

not them, you, he insisted

wait, I’m sober if I’m not with her

really? he was definitely in doubt

eyeing my orange juice again

yes, I don’t drink at the moment

but I know if she arrived later

wanting vodka, I’d be there again

would you say

you were dependent on drink?

wait, are you not listening?

yes, I drink, I drink with friends

I drink with jane

I’m not drinking now because

well, because, I’m not with Jane

& I’m wanting to be sober

this continued on

the next week I had water

just water? He asked

this time I gave it him

made him taste it

because I was that furious

I’d not seen Jane

or heard from her

its been three weeks sober now

really? he said

in that way that just made me

more angry

because I hadn’t seen her

for almost a month

I could feel my balls again

they’d been crushed by her

so many times

& also by me

for being such a pushover

but now

they were starting to grow back

look, I said, let’s start again

you are here so I can work through

my dependency on Jane

& you are here for?

your drink problem, he said straight

I never asked for that! I shouted

I was clear

right from the time I called your agency

I have Jane issues

Oh, he said sitting upright

it was that somebody said

you get drunk with a woman

& it becomes abusive….

I walked him to the door

trying gently to explain

I’d been hoping for somebody

who might understand

we were not in his fantasy land

where all women are virtuous

& only men lay hands on women

I wanted to say

if I saw him in the street

I would kick him hard

but knew that would only confirm

the better story he had

in his head

I closed the door

sat with a sigh

reached for the vodka

poured one with juice

said Salud!

to Jane

another round she’d won again

smudge in time

Its all about envy

not the money

the flame

me dying slower than her

keeping the looks

she has more lovers

better friends bringing gifts & tea

who will fight

for her favours

journeys into the night

while I had lovers talked of love

who ran into that same dark night

with journeys never bringing return

not to be seen again

leaving only dead underwear

a smudge on the bathroom mirror

that I see as I piss

in the cool morning

envy me

your life is better

if only you were me

& I believe half of what I see

none of what I hear

though still I can hear her hiss

my loves are better than you

what you pretend to be yours

& you will never again

have this

as I stare into the bathroom mirror

the shaver makes it slide by kiss

yes my old love, you can tell me

all you want of those evenings

tell me every single thing

try to stoke my envy

build my desire

but you too

will never have this

my feelings for you are long dead

yesterdays novel has grown cold

& old

You write then?

he says

looking at a rough

of a few bits n pieces

I was going to do

at a friends, family & foes night

can I take a look?

he mumbles a few lines

to himself

in that way we got taught at school

looking for a rhythm

always ending

with a last line rush

he’ll talk about scan in a second

not understanding

my lines don’t work out that way

you local?

I nod my head

I did hear there was a poet

out this way

bit hard on the ladies

drinks too much for his own good

& writes in the local pub

never got enough for a round

quick with the fuck off

the back of his hand

& I’m beginning to think

if he doesn’t mean me

i’d be happy to

be a stand in

cheeky wee fucker

has read the words

not suggested to buy a drink

or offer his own verbs

I think I just might have one or two

for him