surely not

frozen saturday afternoon sipping

after another long frustrating week

& my friends were coming over

have a drink for my birthday

there were four or five here already

for some first we had chance to meet

since last years blow out the same

& I was thinking take it steady

there’s a long time from 3 to 12

when she walked in from the cold

wearing a white dress blue panties & bra

thinking oh no they got me a stripper

got all of that bullshit to deal with now

being kind I offered to buy her a drink

while she asked if dave was here yet?

just as he came in thru’ that same door

I see you’ve met suzy my new squeeze

kissing her neck accepting a drink

& I was confused in myself now

not knowing if I was disappointed

or just about pleased

this was not what it seemed

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if Freud were here

drifting

turning down this road

going into the street where

that store we can get

images of mountains

rivers streams

places to sit eat drink

think of home

& these come unbidden

needing everyday stuffs

puzzling the rows

in AlCampo Auchan Le’Clerc

locales in Spain France

mom & pop shops in Arizona

outback station redwoods Cali

feeling the chill in the air

needing Alicante sun warmth

wearing a pop button shirt

bought in a Reno thrift

matched with jeans from goodwill

boots at a store Hampshire England

the world is shrinking in our dreams

& if Freud were here

you know I’d ask him what all of that

means

love that way again

being an easy lay

she had me from the start

loving those long legs

that she’d bend in such a way

to shove that ass in my sight line

& I was gone

lost in lust

forgotten

whatever small beef lay between us

my thinking out the window

along with any dignity

a man feels he might have

& if I could have her back tomorrow

I’d try to gracefully decline

as much in regret as sorrow

I no longer have the years to come

the time in patience needed

begged stolen borrowed

to love that way again

too seriously

oh man

we spent some years together

growing up getting drunk

doing what we could for fun

& then you got take yourself

all serious doing some

you felt important job

& we went along

for a little while more

until the sunny day

we went to the river

flew out on the rope

just hanging there

& you swung out

hadn’t reached high enough

hit the bank with a great bang

& you never forgave us

for laughing right out loud

& that’s how

we remember you now

not the great kid good ideas

but the growed up man

who took himself

too seriously

cries in the night ‘why?’

my neighbours have dramas

they don’t need no tv show

they fuss they fight

the cussing is a delight

I record it for giggles

let all my friends know

lately she’s taking to beating

hits him with a broom

pots n pans food gets thrown

all about the place

spatters the room

the cops come haul him off

she sits on the front steps

beats herself around the head

cries in the night ‘why?’

I came up beside him

down at the grocery store

erm y’know fella this stuff

she does is abuse yeah?

& he stared me right down

told me to mind my own business

walked off all in a huff

& the next time the cops came

duckwalked him out in cuffs

I raised my glass high smiled

I see you’ve got a handle on things

& when she cried out why?

I told her you know baby

you ever thought of buying a tv

getting your drama kicks there?

& you know she told me

to fuck off

or she’d call the cops

there are some people you can’t help

right there

some days

the abyss stares back

days there was nothing

walking to & from school

the park

going to bed

waking up

the only thing holding me

was me there in the dark

beyond boredom

loneliness left behind

walking up the stairs

only to pass down again

& they asked if I had the blues

& I said I wished it were

at least then

I’d have a name

something I could cling to