the therapist

began in earnest setting out the rules

which seemed at first fair do’s

wanted me to be real

tell the truths there of my life

be honest straight & true

then later came the add ons

no cussing swearing getting angry uptight

got to sit still stare her straight in the eye

no fiddling or fussin’ hands in my lap

or there along the arm of the chair

& I felt like I was sittin’ at my grandmas

a poor frightened child waiting for rescue

& this could not be so told her I had to go

this was becoming less & less about me

I had things to talk on that are nasty brutish & low

been through hell deep dirty water no rope no hope

nice words & holding still won’t cut through the wild

if you want me to be the way that I am

I got to be me talk & do the way I do

else I need to be going find someone new

who can help me find my way through

sent a note along

I don’t always like what you write

but man

you’ve been an inspiration to me

keep me going over the years

I can always rely on you

for an alternative view

laughs giggles

love

me

X

no such thing as how are you?

I guess she’s flying today

no idea

her note reached me in a low

unaware caught me out

not knowing I’ve been searching

for somebody to inspire me

keep me going

give some laughs giggles

good love

for a while

to help close the show

paid hard

paid hard

for the simplest things

you know

everything costs the poor more

in hard earned cold coins

scraping the edges of my tired hands

in the giving over

for each minor mistake

I felt the lash on my bent back

pushing me along

go further along steel tracks

find something there

you can’t be here amongst us

try over again make like new

no accidents here

no missspokes misunderstands

no walking it back

responsibility is only

really there for the low

& I hear them uptown singing now

justice does not apply to me

& I’m wondering why my back teeth ache

this hot anger ebbs & flows

while downtown

only the gospel choir really knows

crawling

we meet around seven

usual bullshit reason to meet

& the beer keeps flowing

& about the second one in

I realise I’m bored

the noise is too loud

can hear mebbe 2 in 3 words

as the bloat starts in

I’d rather be sat in a wine bar

some soft muzak on low

sipping a soft Corbiere

asking how do you do?

instead we watch the pool players

telling tales of matches we won

as the evening crawls on

drifting from pub to bar

walking on unsteady feet

& then somebody orders spirits

& I’m gagging on dark brandy

that I must swallow for the craic

knowing in the morning

there will be no clock turning back

to days when I could

even wanted to do this

but now it’s a bore a chore

to be done for some bullshit

occasion

because it is our tradition

our way of bonding

one foot low

I’ve walked away before

one foot low

in front of the other

treading time slow

wishing hoping

for a turnaround

which is not to say

I felt nothing

if I walked away the hurting

heading for the horizon

looking for newer songs

& I will do this again

when or if

the scenery fades

the curtain falls

leaving nothing

but cold rain

hurt & pain

I owe it to me

you owe this to you

to get up & walk away

don’t let people

give you poor love

let you down again

Women got a broom

I was feeling low that morning

couldn’t find the energy

fill the bowl with hot water

find the razor to shave

focus on doing

the what needs doing

but I still made it out

go see the listening lady

sitting still in her room

& I told her of feeling low

today I just couldn’t deliver

make the show

& she told me

whatever men do women do too

but they also got a broom

up their ass to sweep along

cleaning up after everyone

I should get my sorry ass

up out of the chair

get home scrape that razor

put on my best face

go do what I gotta do

cos you know

whatever it is you do

women got a broom

to do more than you

scree scree scree scree

the music of pickers

heard in the thrift stores

scree scree scree

scratching of thin metal hangers

on fat chrome rails

pulling the clothes on & to

searching for labels

anything high end

unusual

vintage

that can be sold on through

make a few bucks

pay the habit

pay the man

pay the bills

churned out to vintage stores

in a bundle blanket

for them to sell on

to folks who’d never

grace the thrift

& the losers here

are you & me

with high end taste

& low money

poor choices made

tip toe

caught in her fly paper

she wanted me to go

& I did not yet

want to leave

intuition feeling in my bones

someone else was gonna show

as her eyebrows got higher

voice shifted from low

& sure enough

just as I turned the corner

in he came

it’s a sick feeling

to be right in these ways

churning the gut

head spinning to know

all of this for nothing

more poor choices made

care poured onto barren ground

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

self pity sunday

she wants to come see me

when I’m buggy & low

& definitely not at my best

it’d great to see her

through the red eyes

& snotty nose

even though my head aches

trying to produce words

to fit the occasion

& it’s a relief when she goes

not that I don’t love her

but right now

all I can hang on to

is me

& that in itself

seems to be a bit of a struggle