she’s a great looking kid

got a great voice

& she wants to work in the industry

have a career singing to millions

go beyond beyonce or taylor

all said with a sweet smile

covering soft the avarice behind

she has not worked the entertainment mills

the bars cabarets supper clubs

singing late afternoons for two

the bored the drunks the bored drunks

singing for a wage for love for pennies

the experience the heart highs lows

& how do you say to anybody

come back another time

after you’ve been hurt

brought to your knees

found your own voice


depth of soul


wanting me to start the fire

minutes hours

days weeks

months years

as a teen

just waiting for something


to happen

I was but bored

at wits end

in my little town

wondering where

just where the freaks were

people with stuff going on

& later too much later

I realised

they were waiting on me

to get the party started

hiding behind their doors

wanting me to start the fire

while I made better plans

for moving on

just sheer bloody inertia

you could tell me

lead me straight through

your door

but I will never understand

how you live here

when I’m gone

I understand there’s eating

drinking watching the tv

just what you people do

in your living together

seems to be a bore

you don’t talk much

sharing is for losers you say

so the wonder has to be

what is it you got

to make the other stay

is it the shame

hidden under the mattress

pride lost lying on the floor

fear for the world unkown

beyond your tattered curtains

or just sheer bloody inertia

keeps you living in sin?

when we go

she goes

to go see her mother

been fifteen years since

the old man went on

now she sits alone

doing crosswords

puzzles keep her mind active

she comes back

mum’s bored she says

sitting in on a sunny day

hearing going

sight much the same

I think she misses my dad

if I remember clear I say

she did nothing but complain

about him while he was here



she goes

& I think too on how

this one gets fed up

with my conversations


have you noticed….?

I’m thinking about

there is fuckery afoot in this tv report

but not to worry

they do get a long time of silence

when we go

I coulda been a contender charlie

Jade was a judo champion

represented her county

had eyes

on being an Olympian someday

& I?

was just an ordinary dog seaman

& full of that

we met as bored kids

wandering a small shoreline town

we’d go eat & find a quiet bar

talk for hours

her of her hopes & wishes

& I?

the nothing I felt

so little caught me

except the music the words

down on paper thing

then we’d wander the town

just hanging out

then she never turned up

I walked got something to eat

had a drink in the quiet bar

& wondered on how this too

had not caught me

I coulda been a contender charlie

carrying her kit bag to events

being her number 1 fan

the champions man

but no

late at night

wandering home across the city

& her feet hurt her

like I’m going to carry that load

we stop frequently

to listen to her moans

her to rub those feet

& she sees the corner boys

falls quick into line behind

lets just get through eh?

the boys have nothing else on

though they stop to watch as we slop by

make muttered noises & laughs

she leans in whispers please keep going

& there is a time to be tough

hand out the stare em down looks

but these were just bored past bedtime boys

with nothing else to spend time on

its ok baby I say in her ear

not far to go & lift her body some

its time to get on home

just a few more steps

& we can take the weight off

have a sip something fine

days at the thrift store

days at the thrift store

just watching & waiting

see who comes through the door

& not all of ‘em are poor

the fella buys new pants shirts jacket

& if you got ‘em underwear

asks all polite

can I leave the old stuff behind?

the thin cheeked ladies

letting their kids play

leave the toys all over the floor

as she checks out baby clothes by the bundle

counting out ones to pay

the swoopers looking for names

to put on ebay make a score

coming down pickers to resell pay the habit

bored shoppers in out of the rain

looking for the right come up

sniffing at the poverty in snobbery

should’ve been left at the door

& the folk look at you

checking out your duds like you bought ‘em there

the grinding on going on in faces

stretching a budget needing to get by

holding on to yourself not to over care