crimes of my mother

the first big one

was running away

with the tv repair man

leaving her kids behind

the second was leaving me

with the memories

of her frightened terror’d face

& with the people

who gave those to her

they hoped I had no memories

of her & those times

but I did

there were other crimes

but these are the ones

that matter most

in the life of a frightened kid

& there never came an apology

any understanding from her

that they were the same to us

as to her

& to make the point clear

she ran away again

no forwarding address

no phone

& she was dead five years

before I found out



nothing brings my feet to return

knowing nobody in the land I was born into

my ancestors are long dead

buried burned scattered I know not where

the few people who say they know me

have not spoken heart to heart

sat to listen in a thousand moons

the last time we sat they spoke

of the many things they had said done

& when I tried to say I too have soared

they could only see me in terms as a child

of who I had been in the way back when

fear holds their feet to the ground tight

limits their thoughts ways of being

& to think of me as a forsaken child

hurts them because they did nothing

felt they could not get in the way

yet see no hand of theirs in my making

while I felt the lack of theirs every day

I grew strong without them their ways

& of all that scares them that is the most

a spirited child who found their own way

who in the end learned not to need them

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

Jims dead baby

she loved the words

wanted me to write

keep them coming honey

life is gonna be a blast

I’m not Jim I said

not that she could hear

neither Hank nor Byron

what I got is mine alone

those ears all stoppered

full of dead love

wanting to be the true amour

of the see’er a prophet

I knew this couldn’t last

but hey I’m a poet

we ride the beast

whether pony donkey mule

all the way into the dirt

screaming hallelujah!

& pass the ammunition

Dumb kid

I travelled over the ocean

sitting in the farts of others

rebreathing 30% dead air

not just to come & see you

took those needed detours first

had some time in the desert

reminded myself at graves there

just how it was back then for us

you chose the music I chose the line

touching places your mumma loved

letting the wind fly the sand the earth

right out the palm of my hand

& when I got to where you were

I left messages we were in town

& a couple of days later

after you were sure we were gone

made dipshit excuses of neglecting your phone

like I’d come to see you with no reason

had something or nothing to convey

or did you think my hands were open empty?

well now I guess your mummas dead

you get to feel really be free

though one of us is just a dumb kid

for putting in no effort

& one needs now

to just let it be


we just don’t do it

look around count the empty spaces

parents family friends


lost along the way

sure we catch our friends

talking on loved ones gone

the pain of missing the love given

do this sometimes ourselves

but we focus on the living


not dwelling on those gone before

filling the spaces in our hearts

with those living amongst us now

only allowing moments

to dwell

on the to come

fat flat face

His fat flat face at the bar


when I went up

help bring the drinks to the table

there he was

supping his own drink

all airy: thought I’d get while I waited

yours are coming

as he put on the innocence mask

on that fat flat face

denying the incipient alcoholism

the desperate need for more

every fourth round

he had a fifth

nobody was keeping score

then you think

the times he volunteered

go get the drinks

he was taking one on top

& the lie that kills

Is not the deceit of doing


that he called us friends

without showing who he truly was

behind that now dead

fat flat face