for paints

I had some old felt pens

cheap & thin transparent in hue

almost the colors of moonlight

my paper was ancient yellowed wallpaper samples

found in the free bin at the decorators shop

there on the corner between the pub

& the Asian grocers who gave grey wrapping

that I used as portfolio paper for poems

I had biro pens salvaged from the bookmakers

the short kind designed for quick hands

& then to be discarded

I painted on an ancient piece of scrap board

all the names of the loves in my life

from first crushes to hips in the night

then in biro the rooftops

slates, tiles, chimneys, tv aerials

the places I was living of

if not living in

& amongst all of this poverty

I was inspired by this defeat

to create only for me


none of those paintings exist now

nor do the poems of my despair

some I spat out at soirees

sad one day exhibitions for such souls

but all of this is gone now

& I am pleased with that

because none of those

can define me now


there goes the poet

tears in their eyes

oh, they’ll tell you

it’s the vicious cold wind

the thousand yard stare

literary poesy thing

& you know

every word of that is a lie

not that any of that

will stop them from wanting

to set the world on fire

just to keep themselves warm

with their latest lines

newest words set in a row

& all they ever needed to do

was recognise their hurt

is your hurt & my pain too

writing of moonbeams & stars

is insolent avoidance of truth

we know what the literary poets forget

the gutter is a popular destination too