there is romance

in hearing her

rattle the toilet roll holder

there against the wall

knowing in seconds I can get in

do my thing

get the morning going

there is romance

hearing her breathe

guinea pig sounds in the night

snuffle pig I call it

as she moves restless

between too hot sheets

there is romance

in the smells the closeness

intimacy of two rotting bodies

living together doing exactly

what nature demands

there was little romance

when I lived apart

rattling in rooms

farting in the stillness

sleeping alone

dying in solitude


romance is not what it was

I passed her in the street

there with her man

she shot me a fearful

don’t say hello look

& I struggled to remember

Janey Jill Susie Sue?

not that I’m much proud

of our fumble encounter

one of those long Saturday nights

leaning on the counter

watching the tab mount up

she was there with her friend

married ladies night out

& I was passing out the charm

the beer lights & the music

working their magic

& she wanted something of me

giving me the eye the wink

come on & follow me

where she began to blow me

turned to offer me from behind

& as I took my chances

she softly said

just don’t come in me ok?

my old man would kill me

& the moment was gone

romance is not what it was

I pretended to come

zipped up my pants

kissed her the once

returned to the beer lights

flat beer on the counter

& the music came on

just another beer lust driven moment

given & gone

asking the questions

when you have the need

you are the one who suffers

there was a succession of shack jobs

lasting generally about two years

& either they got fed up with me

not wanting to do the big day scene

or I would just wear them out

a restless mind will do that to love

looking out searching round for more

asking the questions of is this it?

some were not at all subtle

about what they thought came next

& there would be tears recriminations

fight scenes worthy of our emotions

anything less would not have seemed fit

then silence for a while as the sky turned

to begin again hope blazing fresh & new

to one where I walked away left nothing

but a short note on the shelf goodbye

flash packing my few things to run

out into the blue wheeling sky

hoping for more next time than the same

found a fat vein

maybe the planet was aligned

or just the times delivered

but I hit a rich seam

found a fat vein

of married women

wanting something I had

possibly they saw my lack of care


to have fun with for a little while

if not possible to deny

it was all about the sex thing

some other kind of love

called attraction romance

anything but the truth

it was the sex thing

we’d go out

maybe a meal

a few drinks

then head back to mine

for a couple of hours

before they’d go home

& I’d sleep alone

they became indistinguishable

one loved to walk

one loved to drink

one loved my music

& all of them

loved the fucking thing

until they moved on to another

found fresh blood

new distractions

faded past the horizon

after the vein blew out

just another

I fell in love

it’s a thing we humans

the romantic ones anyway


& I heard her promises

the things that lovers say

melted this stony old heart

I fell for her deep

the whole fucking way

& the promises got broken

left by the wayside over time

she was too tired

too angry too fed up

they were too too much

for her to fulfil them today

we drifted apart in sadness

because of all of that

I found another had promises

things she said she’d do

& the last one became just another

half forgotten human

saying things they didn’t mean

& if you find somebody

can keep their promises

live up to what they say

then maybe love is more

than just another dream

I could build a castle

from a smile at the bus stop

pleasant face in a thin cotton dress walking by

never needed much just sweet life

& when I got closer to feel the cotton

made it past the smiles

back to hers or mine eats & drinks

there came nothing much else

to hep the evening romance slide

they had never read written painted

thought much about how to live their time

every day was one foot in front of the other

making ends meet soaps on the box

& I was the strange creature

wanting to explore what was inside

could we build something together

when all I could hear deafening

was the low slung hum of pink noise

good money

not sure how much it would cost

but I’d pay good money

for those nights in Paris

back again

yes I was a fucking idiot

no doubt drunk out of my skull

running the parapets

bridges over the Seine

feeling the freest

I’d ever been

away from home

no family to tut

you looking at me

with eyes bright

drunk too with romance

we were young in paris

the world was our own

& I’d give good money

to do all of that

over again

Hem & pamplona dreaming

The first time

I came over the mountains

& there to greet me

was an eagle

as indifferent to me

as I was in thrall to it

I was with my love then

& all of this was new to her

Hem was a line on a dress

while I understood his calling

within two days

she would know me

brave if but foolish

romantic in deed

not thought

or cowardly runaway

we placed a red square

around his statue neck

went off to drink to st fermin

vanquishing the moors

& to new lives come the dawn