another city another time

finished for the day

I dropped in a bar for beer

the ‘tender heard my accent

hello what brings you here?

I’m doing a couple of days work I said

y’hear this boys? he called out

fella’s here doing a couple of days work

no wonder there’s no fucking jobs

when they’re importing people!

there was a silence for a second

then I laughed loud

as did he

the rest of the bar

you’ll have no problems here son

he shook my hand

introduced me all around

as the phone rang

can’t even tell you now

what the fuss was about

we were at her friends’ place

said we’d babysit their kids

stay in the spare room

Saturday night sucking on red wine

just talking no tv just the radio

& something went awry

I misspoke said something wrong

hell got let loose world war times 3

with no way back in the face of fire

the only course of action

seemed to me for overreaction

was to get up to go

& that was even worse

how dare I leave her alone in this place?

I made the door found the breath

take the long walk home

opened my own door

found a cold beer waiting

sat in the chair breathing deep

thinking simple thoughts

I’d had enough crazies

never ever wanted another

as the phone rang

rang rang rang

the old man

I saw him a few times in his last years

the two he spent living in hospitals

when his second wife my stepmother

would not let him return home

I lived on the opposite coast then

had done since I left home at fifteen

but I’d arrange my work to go see him

I found him one time fully dressed

sat in the chair beside his hospital bed

they tell me I’m depressed

he said in his usual quiet way

been like it for years they tell me

they’ve put me on these pills to help

but I don’t feel different in any way

which was quite some speech for him

& what to say?

his wife would not let him come home

she had reasons could not lift him if he fell

could not do care was not made that way

& with her bingo trips lunches with the ladies

made her visits to see him short & brief

I guess you got reasons I murmured

thinking on that & my mother his first wife

run off left him broke with two kids to feed

& what would they be? he asked all quiet

as we both dropped into silence for a while

scent of evening

you can see them still

bent figures

foraging edges of woods

road sides

picking up sticks

fallen boughs

& if a tree should fall

blown over by winter winds

that truly is a windfall

out come the saws

mainly chain these days

but the bowsaw is still present

& in minutes short hours

all that is left

are drying vines

fluttering dead leaves

to mark the spot

& the smell

from the chimney pots

of woodsmoke

the smell of home

of sleepy villages rural small towns

still in touch with the old ways

if now

they have logburners

& not stoves

always needing blacking

arc of an arrow

the time

when I held the ‘rents

to blame

for everything

then I moved on some

took it all on

my own shoulders

habits good & bad


leanings to & against

whatever you got

& more

& all the time the arrow

was flying

seeking home


for me to finally understand

I am a mixed up volume

of writings

from those before

those I meet along the way

& my own jottings

first in crayon then pen

carved in wood & stone

as my hands got stronger

days of wander

thumb in the wind

hitching 200 miles

go see if the ‘rents were in

could handle my face

hard rides of wandering hands

offers to suck my cock

pay to see it please

occasionally women

wanting to feed

take me home mother me

endless moments of

here will be fine drop offs

middle of nowhere

where even the horses stare

walking walking

in the rain the snow

sunshine days not caring

stopping to write thoughts ideas

slip slide the mask of bum

be the writer poet troubadour

until the world turned again

finding them not home

or no welcome today

walk out of there

begin the return journey

no shelter no love no feed

no recognition of journeys made

wishes hopes dreams left there

my only salvation the road

never quite the whole

she was telling the world

at least our small part of

that I was the angry man

she had to get out

fast as while she can

& she was not wrong

even if she didn’t tell all

never quite the whole plan

I’d get home after a long day

she’d gone out the flat iron on

burning through the counter

or the stepping out old flame

while I was late shift working

coming home morning bird songs

finding strange lingerie flung

expecting me to be clear up man

& if I thought this was love

it was never quite the whole

due to a hungry angry working man

walked it away

we met in my local bar

she was on the rebound

she said

still had feelings

for the fella

as one drink grew

into another another

& I woke with her

next to me

we met a few times more

I was starting to like her

being funny witty & all

then one night at a party

she hissed he’s here!

& he seemed a nice guy

spoke to her polite

then moved on to others

later I noticed she was gone

& as I left to leave

saw them kissing

under a low streetlight

so I walked it away

found home on my own

turned the dent

in her pillow around

woke to a whole new day

too gay

playing Puck

Shakespeare’s midsummer night


end of year school play

there in borrowed pantyhose

crouched spouting

on a painted mushroom

caught in a spotlights gleam

expectations for the audience

to steal the show

& afterwards

walking home alone

not allowed to take the bow

end of all the scenes

& maybe

this was just too gay

for the old man to swallow

his boy painted in tan tights

up on the stage

& never mind the applause

the praise

all that just goes to hollow

when at the end of the night

you have to go home

& it is

just another day

if Freud were here


turning down this road

going into the street where

that store we can get

images of mountains

rivers streams

places to sit eat drink

think of home

& these come unbidden

needing everyday stuffs

puzzling the rows

in AlCampo Auchan Le’Clerc

locales in Spain France

mom & pop shops in Arizona

outback station redwoods Cali

feeling the chill in the air

needing Alicante sun warmth

wearing a pop button shirt

bought in a Reno thrift

matched with jeans from goodwill

boots at a store Hampshire England

the world is shrinking in our dreams

& if Freud were here

you know I’d ask him what all of that