you you & you

an ancient place

with you you & you

three women of a certain age

sitting on a ridge in the sun

top of the stone quarries

where they never say the name

of the furry long ear

with the white bob tail

I took the photograph

of you you & you

you never loved me

fighting me for nine years

you learned to love me

over thirty years

& you

you loved me from the start

recognising a fellow soul

a joyful happy heart

no hurts intended

& if only

I could have traded

your places in my life

what the world

would have been

Girl with a black eye

saturday afternoon

sitting at the bar

waiting

& his girl walks in

sits next to me

says he’ll be here in a while

& I notice then

she has a big black eye

I raise an eyebrow

she misinterprets this

points at a beer tap

one of those please

so I buy her a beer

as every man in the place

leers wild at me

even the barman jeers

as he puts her drink down

was it him?

no she says all quiet

but he’s not convinced

neither is anybody else

& I don’t mind fighting

for the things I’ve done

said I was gonna do

but this looks like

I’m heading for a kicking

so I order more drinks

soften the bruises to soothe

just then he pops his head in

we still going fishing?

I call him in

order him up a drink

say to the barkeep

this is her man

look after him eh?

I need to step outside

for a minute or two

after all the jaw jaw & fighting

I love talking to you

she says

looking for my flattered

flush reaction

tho’ we always end fighting

& we do

she has that cocktail party syndrome

going on

has great openers

middle eights lifted from the greats

but no finishers

clinchers of her own

& me…?

a lot of time by myself

in a chair thinking about

about

whatever there is

I don’t get to pick up tired phrases

heated over leftovers

& so

when we talk

I say things her highbrow friends don’t

& that confuses her inner narrative

lineal track of what follows what

& worse

after all the jaw jaw & fighting

she won’t sleep with me

I’m too rough apparently

drinkin’ in LA

hiding out from the hotel

the lesbians going at it

knives curses fists

& worse

the make up love after

talking with Silicon Valley nerds

& when they hear

you’re from out of town

the finer points of baseball

cost of living in the city

smog masks v hero death

stink of piss in the air

panhandlers not really trying

avoiding the personality test

blind eye to turnstile jumpers

cheap gold Mexican jewellery

& later when they feel

they got to know you

death & rebirth

of their dream

throwin’ rocks eternal

the first time

I’d be about five

playing over on the waste ground

& the older kids came over

began muscling in

shoving me out of the way

go home to your mum got said

& he ain’t got one she run away!

& before i knew it

I was fighting kicking & biting

knees faces arms

everything got in my way

they threw me down pretty quick

walked off muttering to themselves

& that’s when I was found

throwing rocks at their backs

by the neighbours who said

what a rotten kid to be doing that

but then they mumbled between them

he ain’t got one at home

to show a better way

& they wondered why I hated them

too