project away

this face

set of the brows

look on the lips

I was always

hey you at the back

smile

if that’s not too much

to ask?

or

I can see you

are in a bad mood

are angry

upset about something

the happiness thief

taker of things

stealer of love

bad man in black mood

& all I had was

this face

set of the brows

look on the lips

for you to project

onto

I got the legs for it

fella thought it easy

watching what I did

hey I can do that

went back to school

studied hard failing

at this & everything that

ended up doing stuff

he never wanted

& late one night

when the booze

had made everything simple

he confided

I liked what you did

thought I could do that

you made it look so easy

hows about that?

I suggested we started

from other places

had different hard times

learned dissimilar skills

he still looked puzzled

until I said

I made it look easy

‘cos I got the legs for that

hows about that?

not enough

we sat in the cold

having nowhere to go

listening on the radio

or if we had money

for batteries

a tape recorder

playing Alice

Led Zep the Floyd

& Jethro Tull

because we knew

how it feels

to be thick as a brick

shut out of the parties

unwelcome at home

our feet worn at the heel

wanting something

anything to come take us away

this cold pretence of real

& now he has forgotten

all of those days

telling stories of love happiness

no days of worn coats

nothing to do

but sitting on benches

with nowhere to go do

& whatever we had

was not enough

to last in his feels

to roll me on the ground

curled up in a chair

guts rotting in pain

the quack gave me pills

to ease my days again

& finally stuck a tube

down my neck with a camera

confirmed I had ulcers

but now they got a cure

for helicobacter pylori

& sure enough

those gut aches went away

but now I had a headache

tight shoulders stiff neck

the doc had run out of ideas

wanted to give stress pills

suggested I examine my life

& he was a wise old man

because I was thinking

it was my woman

playing around

ignoring me

giving the gut aches

pains in the neck

these witch doctors eh?

heart in the right place

his heart is in the right place

we go back a few years

& he’s on a roll

wanting me to vote

for his guy

says he’s worth the time

& I ask him straight

when was the last time

you saw a politician

in a poor suit

struggling in a cheap dress?

their hair is always

an expensive cut

made up to the nines

smiling for the tv

& a very few now

are not millionaires

who was the last one

came up from the streets

& not straight out of law school?

oh you’re such a cynic he says

but I know your

heart is in the right place

waiting on a friend

hey sugar

she sighed

slipping into

onto the seat

next to mine

why’re you by yourself

on a Saturday night?

waiting on a friend

I said

though I wasn’t

there was nobody wanted

expected here

you don’t want company?

it was my turn to sigh

nope

easing off the seat

now I’d have to find

another bar

different place

than be drawn into

onto someone else’s

plans schemes

other than my own