tenaciously stupid

there with the presenting problem

in an early therapy group

the therapist working patient

drawing out the real issue

bringing design to a close

he was happy for a while

went about his life until

I found him a few years later

holding forth in another group

letting out the presenting problem

hinting at his other needs

as the therapist lanced this boil

brought the past into now

caught us right in the feels

& sure enough time goes by

I found him in another round

talking on the presenting problem

throwing out the weighted baited hook

this time the therapist caught it

passed it softly back with a smile

I think I caught your earlier rehearsal

remind me what is it you forget

to remember hold on to?

papers the walls

the shame grows

heating head between ears

the things i said

tried to mean

just to keep her a little longer

tho’ you knew

anything you had was long dead

didn’t stop you trying

from this feeling of alone

here in this blue room

as the shame grows

hope papers the walls

another lover gone

a cold bed once more

another day to try again

putting the music on low

hoping to find a song

a lyric something

to make sense

escape the heat

in this sad stupid head

& your wise men don’t know

if there is any certainty

in an insecure world

it is that I know

I am indeed stupid

thick as the proverbial

immune to nuance

blind to asides

incapable of inference

snide to subtleties

slow to reference

just plain dumb

when it comes

to picking up clues

hints insinuations pointers

should you tip the wink

provide a whiff of inkling

a soupcon speck in suggestion

so say it plain please

if you want my company

& put my slow mind at ease

beautiful in the symmetry

I could never learn

to brown nose

oh I’d try half hearted

but it always came out wrong

& they’d start hating

in that nice way to let you know

the feeling runs bone deep

so I’d fuck with them

go in wearing my trouser pants

keeping my chain biker wallet on

loose fastening my club belt

or Fridays take my riding rags in a bag

leave it open on the floor

leave the chop tick tick cooling

nearest bay by the front door

to get away on the dot of close

roar of exhaust smoke & noise

roll a three-paper loose leaf cigarette

standing outside in the rain

with the gossip smokers

snicker as they’d edge away sniffing

before running to the boss

do the squeal tell-tale telling tall thing

kept a vodka bottle full of water

in my bottom desk drawer

half inch of spirit floating on top

knowing they couldn’t fire me

as I wasn’t stupid enough

to be drunk drugged sweary in paid time

& they needed what I did for them

it was beautiful in the symmetry too

to just to recognise

my feelings went bone deep also

until waiting was done

I was waiting

hand held out

to pull you through

and I waited

until waiting was done

& you called out

if only I’d waited

just a while longer

you would’ve come through

but a fool gets tired

standing there like a mule

mute strong patience long

I was waiting

hand held out

wondering out loud

just where were you?

& you were waiting


for how long

I’d hold out

& I’m not sure now

which of us

was the more stupid

rinse recycle repeat

I try to fit in with the crowd

slide in & take a seat

sit still for a while

try not to make a peep

but then somebody

any one of them

will say something stupid & crass

& I can’t take the heat

the words come tumbling out

& I try you know how hard I try

not to be harsh

say something rash

I cannot take back

& I know they can’t help it

never take to time to really think

the alone time to work out their own positions

instead rinse recycle re use others opinions

never learn to ignore what they’ve been spoon fed

taking off the reins of heritage & lore

& too soon I’m back in the thick of it

wanting to reach the asleep at the wheel

& they hate you for showing them

there are different ideas out there

other ways to think

anything else?

those cats

would do anything to protect me

yank me off the street

pat me down

put me in a cage for an hour

or a day

checking me out for drugs

which if they did make me stupid

did not make me daft enough

to carry them when these guardians

just might be around

to slam me to the ground

stamping on my long hair

kicking in the nuts

suggesting I get a hair cut

find a new place to hang

& they’d let me go

with a nod to be careful

on those streets out there

& I’d smile sweet let them know

well, officer when I got you

to protect me

what can go wrong?

unless there is anything else

I should know?

all so important then

the fights



the women

& where are they now?

some dead in stupid wars

others now stupid alive in row homes

we would stand by for each other

these desperado’s watching soap operas

having lost the knives, guns

fast motorcycles & borrowed cars

the ability to fist fight for fun

friendship or fearing nothing

in the dark night of heartache

strange loves gone by light

those women I thought would kill me

by the pain of their leaving me for another

from beds molded to their shape

scents of fierce love

listening to the echo of high heels

clicking on the concrete

feeling that deep in the well

of lonely to come

Bicycle helmets

there are some folk
would wear a head protector
bicycle helmet
in the tub
because life is scary
dangerous y’know
& there is the paradox
the rub if you will
you can spend all your time
making sure your life is safe
& nullify all opportunities
by spending that time being
rather than the living of it
apart from that
they look like a bunch of bananas
on your head
which makes you look stupid
& that’s life’s job
to do that