blues/rent

we were broke again

but this time we were cut off

from lenders credit at the store

wondering what to do

as we busted up crates

to burn in the fireplace

sitting silent cold thinking

knock at the door

fresh voices coming in

I hear you broke?

we need a place to play

got a sound system

new ideas to throw out

& the deal was done

that Saturday night

we charged at the door

people brought their own drinks

or bought that & smokes inside

listened to the sound system

bounced that old floor & around four

we had to close the doors

after six the dj’s left

happy with their 50% cut

as we cleared up the mess

finding little happy surprises

half bottles full bottles

baggies here & there

we weren’t black or white that night

just broke people fighting poor

we’re all broke here baby

I’m broke she said

looking at the floor

sad smile downward eyes

we’re all broke here baby

I said

corners of mouth lifted

but feeling no smile inside

no I’m broke

as in I can’t pay my rent

& the landlord will hassle me again

I owe for the month & if I don’t pay this time

he’ll want paying in some way

cash or the other…

so we passed a hat around

raised a goodly amount

I took her home drank for a while

looking at her her pale bare walls

leaving around three quiet spent

come back tonight bring a bottle

we’ll do it all again she said

so I knocked her door at seven

& the landlord came out stiff angry

she’s run off stiffed me the rent

you a friend of hers can help me out?

nope she caught me too I said

corners of mouth turned down

but feeling the smile inside

just one more that got away eh?

Atlantic coast

the kind of campsite

where if you don’t hear the roar

of the trees the pines

you hear the surf night & day

the season was closing fast

everybody local had gone away

when I found him in the shadows

he told me he was travelling

with jesus

hoping to find his way

between here & Santiago

& those I asked are your plans?

more for fear for him

with winter closing in

as I noticed jesus had not provided shoes

a tent winter coat or map

& he sighed long & low

like this question was raised by everybody

by fools who did not know

the lord is here with us now

he said smiling again

who needs shoes on holy ground?

& all I could see were shadows

stones & sand

a scruffy dirty traveller

standing alone

questioning just who

was the mad one

here

coming round

we’d tried for a while

& I liked her some

but felt no spark

no lift of wings

but she kept coming round

would dust the place

move stuff around

& for a motherless boy

there is comfort there

never gave her a key

just a soft tap at the door

& she’d be here again

offering foods she’d bring

& every now & then

she’d bend in such a way

those legs’d catch my eye

a man is all he is in lust

I promised gave her nothing

for that soft tap at the door

& if there was someone else here

she’d go away without a word

come round again on another day

until I felt I owed her something

or was it just the pains of guilt

of taking & not giving

& when the landlord put the rent up

I moved

& never saw her

anymore

how it starts

she was a great girl beautiful in her dark way

came ragged to me nowhere to go

her ex had pimped her out some & that she didn’t want no more

she was younger than me though that didn’t seem a thing

first we cleaned up the clap

then we settled in together

she got new shoes & clothes I got me a sweeter room

I tried to write & she hung around doing what she called thinkin’

couldn’t get the girl to paint without tears & screams

so I learned to leave that alone

but the one thing she wanted without any need want to work

was the money folding & green & I was always a poor boy at that

never much left after the eatin’ & drinkin’

of course she left one day for a richer man

& I guess that’s how she came to me

if all I can do with love is rent for a short while

at least I get a new model every few years

how it all starts is how it all ends

it seems