as people will

there are guides

will take your money

as people will

for anything

offering themselves

as leaders in the lore

wanting followers in their wake

when all you need do

is sit

observe

watch the world

wait for the patterns to form

see the unseen

let all of that

come to you

for you to be

rather than

put your pennies down

be told

how to do

cute l’il pup

touch of shyness

some social awkwardness

this orphan child

is still available for adoption

ok I might not be

a cute l’il pup anymore

some half pint at your knees

but any mummy & daddy

would be good enough right now

to help me fill my adolescent needs

new car fix my teeth check my s a t’s

make withdrawals bank of dum & mad

& I’m not so proud

if you’d like to drag me round

I’ll smile at all your 

sorry

my new relatives

your maybe not so cute or l’il pup

sitting up straight rolling over

begging for handouts

come birthday holiday Christmas time

apply within

Horse 3

was his own man

living the life he wanted

could not understand

how us youngsters could settle

what he felt was so much less

while we saw him sat at his table

clutching his racing paper

eking out his drinks

sucking up the warmth of the bar

rather than sit in his tiny place

spending drinking betting money

on gas to keep warm

he’d not lived with a woman

for a very long time after

he’d lost his Paris whore

you little fuckers don’t get it

when love gets taken away

he’d quietly say

there is no point in chasing that

in another girl

that would be cruel to her & to you

we smiled of course

we knew no better then

worse some of us never would

& those of us that did

cursed his memory

for being so right

Those early years

drinking fighting together

in the low bumping along life

sharing whatever we had

my girl became his girl & versa

& I defended him fierce

when that time came

helping each other out

thumb in the air one winter

to bring him food money booze

the kind of blues beyond sad

we drifted away for a while

until he came back to town

& we carried on like before

homecoming buddies from the war

time changes people they say

how to find the way to say

I found he’d become like other people

the kind who inch worm their way

try to be above one another

one night playing the slots

I made a useful win

he came along hand out

grinning brothers in sin

I gave him some money thinking

time came he’d do the same

forgetting he’d shed his earlier skin

& sure enough time later

he had his own luck come in

my turn for the hurtin’

I put out my hand

& he turned away

got nothin’

break time on the work site

looking out into the world

sitting on an old paint bucket

eating packet sandwiches

wondering just wondering

how long this money might last

how long could we string

this wall painting job out

watching this guy

slow pushing broom

yeah he shouts serves me right

for not reading staying in school!

& I got nothin’ to say

could add to the fun

I did most of those things

you could look at me now

ask the pertinent question

what went wrong

son?

no love

sitting here no money

hoping you are not alone

looking out over these rooftops

hoping for a light a sign

I know clear when you’re lost

you can always turn around

retrace the steps you took

but to go back

to a place you once lived

is like the mythical river

putting your toe in deep

not the same water flowing

different time different zone

no love you are not alone

though tonight you may not have

company

port towns

I was struggling to gain traction

my heels could not dig in anywhere

& thankfully Alex the Viking offered me

a blanket & sofa place to lay my head late nights

give me an address to look out from

& I turned up four nights out of seven

not wanting to queer the pitch

his girl was ok about it this older woman

who didn’t seem to mind the motorcycles

drinking doping trips to sea out trawl fishing

gone for days back flush with money & thirst

he asked me to stay over while he was away

look after her

around night two late I woke found her arm of the sofa

nightgown short slightly askew is there anything I can get

do for you?

I mumbled from under the blanket I’m ok thank you

& turned over knowing my time there was closing

when Alex came back

he took me for a drink all smiles thank you for looking after her

gave me a wink when I said

I’ll find another place to stay

ok man whatever you say

whose

caught sight of you

coming out of a

downtown supermarket

as ever

your man carrying your bags

you looked ok

considering

& I wondered idle

who he was

whose money

you were drinking on now

whose car

you were slowly wrecking

walls gateposts ditches

were always your nemesis

that & putting oil in the things

I drove away slow

thankful

you were not in my rearview

anymore

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