imperious

oh yeah

you’re the one with the feelings

the angst conflict blues

as they oh oh away

I did not know you felt this way

we were just doing

what we always do

yeah about that

that imperious way of being

everything we do is right

what you got is wrong thing

becomes

all about you your badness

especially now

as you want to rock the boat

& you think in the small hours

oh god it was easier

when we could tell each other

to fuck off

throw our fists

toys around

watching the wind create waves

a rule we had

time to talk

so we walked up & over a high long hill

trudging over well trodden steps

watching the wind create waves

there in the tall grass

the rule we had

to not talk through our shit feelings

in the shit space we’d made them in

so here we were

climbing a long high hill

panting between breaths

the furiousness of feelings

I feel XX

when you do XX

when you say XX

your actions mean this to me

I feel

& holding on to the second rule

only listening to the words being said

not responding except to acknowledge

not in a passive way

how could that ever be

when climbing a high long hill?

oh I knew

I remember those mornings

too well

getting up because I had to

sitting writing answering emails

preparing to go

choking on words the feelings

music soft for inspiration

trying to find courage again

going out

into the world do the job

waitin’ just waitin’

for them to fire me let me go

& it wasn’t the work anymore

but the people

my face did not fit but y’know

just for that

they can’t let you go

so I was waiting

for them to find somethin’

to hang me for

& a grown man can cry

scratch at the walls

raise his hands to the sky

weep wail ask the why

but people are people

& when feelings trump reason

all there is to do today

is wait a while

hope for good money in the goodbye

the shadow man

I know I know

I throw a large shadow

for people to put

throw

their difficult

unowned feelings

onto

& it is hard to remember

reconcile in the moment

live with

when they talk shit about you

make you the bad person

so they don’t feel bad

doing saying

unkind things

to you

behind your back

loose yellow

jealousy is a loose yellow dog

cocking its leg everywhere

shitting on any

everything

& the happiest bit

is its practitioners

seem hugely unaware

they are taking apart

from behind their gossamer veil

I’ve heard them

claiming higher ground

morality utility

doing their best

calling out

pointing fingers

distracting attention

from their own conflicted

feelings

not daring to question

themselves

for the true answers

there

Howard XXXXX is a fornicator

indeed

Howard was the head the principal

of the art & design college

I taught remedial maths english at

one end of a long summer term

the kids turned his office into scout camp

complete with wash line glowing fire

artfully artificially constructed of course

as knowing reference that he slept there

nights he never quite made it home

keeping a sleeping bag under his chair

one morning the sixth floor windows

spelt out one letter per panel pane

facing downtown the busiest city street

artfully completed in Baskerville old face font

spelt HOWARD XXXXX IS A FORNICATOR

by one of the design lecturers cuckolded

by his wife & Howard in nights before

we understood he had some feelings about this

& appreciated he’d put effort thought

into the project worthy of his skills

Roma

she took me on a train

to go eat granita shaved ice in a cone

limon flavour dripped over

under the cool colonnades

where her father had taken her

once as a child

& I wasn’t quite sure

who I was here

friend

child?

to discover later

gigolo

lover

& like in all things

money corrupts the absolute view

I had none she had some

my desires were not in play

graft was needed

just not my poetry painting skills

& no matter my feelings

cash was the new medium

for this poor boy

while she played the Contessa

of course

I ran away after a few days

hitchhiking into France to find a younger love

who in turn time did not want me

loosing

loosing his sight

he writes

& I dare not contradict the spelling

& this one with parkinsons

can’t write

forgets our conversations

between calls visits

& somewhere

along our time together

I forgot

to not care

now I’m caught by these things

hooked tight by my own line

knowing nothing can be done

no wishes hopes miracles

burnt candles in the night

will change a damned thing

& all I can

must do

is stand mute

witness

& I listen

they are sad now

sorry about all of this

completely understand

they let themselves down

will talk now elliptically

about these feelings

& I listen

what else can I do?

the person they let down most

was me

leaving me to rot

to die

be beaten

& I’m not inclined to forgiveness

though acceptance

understanding

& that they too are flawed

like me

occurs occasionally

but I still don’t see them

doing anything

differently

today

you gone

days when the sun came

& I could not raise myself

see it anyhow

living with life dead lovers

she told me she loved me

but all that meant was

she didn’t want

to see me go

living in silence

waiting for the rain to come

to change the scene

wanting for something

to happen along

create a spark

a blue low hum

better feelings to rise

& you can convince you

all days are much the same

but there comes one

where light comes into eyes

the door opens

& baby

you gone