so I did


oh my friend had a friend

let them sleep in the catacombs

not this cheap hotel

I want to go shopping


my cousin had a place on the Tiber

could pass as a local

not this cheap apartment

I want to go shopping


why must we

search for the anarchist tram




I want to go shopping


I want to go shopping

you can go do art history literature

if you want

why don’t you go your own way?

so I did

its all Rome now

what they never tell you

in the tourist guides brochures

is how Rome is overrun with feral cats

fed by old ladies dressed in black

that the smell of urine is everywhere

until it becomes possible to tell

whether it is fresh or has been

added to & added to over the millennia

& now major cities everywhere

have all become Rome

the stank of piss on all corners

the feral homeless feeding on scraps

tended by officers in various blacks

& none of this is recorded

in tourist brochures guides

the digital snaps shown to friends

but never kept in albums


wha’da you do all day?

sit & polish fat words?

& the way he said that

yeah he was thinkin’ fat turds

cos that’s what poetry is all about

rhyming stinking blurbs all day

he got taught that in school

poetry gotta rhyme

& I gently tell him


riding his chariot into Rome

heading the victory parade

had a fella stood just behind


remember you are not a god

but just a man

& that my friend

is what poets do

all day

Killed off romance

I say;


when we went into the catacombs

in Rome?


reminds me

of that night we stayed in the old mill

somewhere near Toulouse…?

& she says

not me babe

some other lover?

& it was

I guess

the one who killed off romance

who went with me

to these places

but I don’t place

remember her in them


I forget her there

pain does that for us

closing off nerve endings



from those who wilfully

misuse us

could cling