& drunks man

god she was beautiful

could smile to crack a rock

but she was a drunk

& drunks man

are no fun long term

it took a while to find out

she was that way this is how she is

I was just getting into her

& then it was too late

she needs to drink

more than she needs you

or wants to see you

& the flies flock to her honey

everybody loves a good time girl

you have to learn to share her

there are too many to fight off

& nobody likes the possessive type

especially you

she tells you she loves you

even uses those exact words

but the long of it

she doesn’t love you or

the other men she fucks for the booze

it’s the drinking she loves

this addiction the real love of her life

the harder truth being

she does not love herself anymore

other than the glass the bottle

the rush to oblivion

held

she held you one night

& there then

was a letting go

you didn’t do nuthin’

to close the show

just the warmth

some hint of lovin’

kept you sleeping all fine

& you can’t buy that

put it in a bottle

wave under noses to & fro

cure the ills

of a dying man

all she did was hold

let out a little love

& you gotta understand

it’d been a long time

since any of that

had happened

who?

had I become

shrouded in memories

haunted by the you’s

of sordid histories

chances taken

squandered

openings disregarded

wilfully missed

to sit here alone

in an old coat

pockets with holes

bare table but for a bottle

sipping on something

to make that last

knowing nothing

ever does

but the eternal of

why?

what?

when?

joined now by

whatever

on the train

trying to shift my head

out of the dawn sun

slicing through the glass

as they witter on on on

& he said so I said

she said so I turned to her

& said what about…?

the struggles of the working poor

trying to make sense

out of the everyday

striving for jesus make the day

to knock soft on heavens door

hope for a place at the table

home for those worn out feet

& I would love them more

if there was a bottle between us

something to take

the edge off away

help me get into the zone

prepare me lord

help me earn my pay

the reading

I don’t enjoy it much

saying the words out loud

that I found in my little space

out on my own

that I crumble

under the cold stare

in hot rooms

with my low voice

now unused to speaking loud

& worse it was for free

though they promised

free beer at the bar

& at a fiver a pint

I thought it best

to earn my keep

there was quiet for most of it

with an occasional yeah!

or an oh no!

did he really just say that?

& at the end

they gave me a bottle

of decent red

some decent applause

& I learned that what I read

is not always

what they heard

clear the bar

I wanted to talk to Pablo

get his understanding on women

like Frida knew

I’d ask Salvador for the real recipe

on paella ‘cos that cat dug it

& Vincent I’d walk with in the evenings

listening for hints on light the sun

Matisse would inform best on

what to do

when the sky falls in

& Jackson & me

we’d drain a bottle two

while Toulouse sinks the green

positively obscene looking up

watching Edgar D

clear the bar

again

broke as

I’ll tell you how we did it

though we were always

broke as last weeks pay

hunting for anything that moved

could become prey

we hadn’t the money

buy a bottle to go to the party

wandering the streets

we’d find another party in progress

door open porch lights on

pick up an empty cup bottle laying around

use that as cover

go in head to the kitchen

while the drunks danced in the living room

music loud lights off & fumbling

pick up a bottle or two quick as we could

head out to the party we were invited to

not that they wanted us there either

but now we had the entrance fee

& the night was ours

again

to walk away

seeing what is

& isn’t

despite the words said

assurances uttered

the cracks showing up in the sun

when all you have is a fresh eye

a mind open for appetite

& while the words sound good

promising away into the night

you know deep in your bones

how things start

is how they will end

if this doesn’t feel right

you gotta walk away

‘cos your own peace of mind

is all that matters y’know

& when they ask why you’re quitting

don’t you like the show?

you have to hold yourself tight

just say quietly

no thanks

bottle it up & go

in a plastic bag

I saw her

early one morning

in a very grey version

carrying the bottle in a plastic bag

knowing the shape

once a drinker always a drinker

no matter the attempt at disguise

maundering through the park

seeking, hoping to hope to find

a fellow seeker of oblivion

& this could have been

the two of us together

against a world set to not understand

only

I remember too well

being sick of her

where nothing was degraded enough

depraved enough

that I would not do

if it made her happy

I was that one sick puppy

eager to confuse this for love

your needs coming before mine

every time

until the morning

I woke

she were gone

& I felt that long sigh of relief

not of concern

but that I could now

begin to come back to me