tenaciously stupid

there with the presenting problem

in an early therapy group

the therapist working patient

drawing out the real issue

bringing design to a close

he was happy for a while

went about his life until

I found him a few years later

holding forth in another group

letting out the presenting problem

hinting at his other needs

as the therapist lanced this boil

brought the past into now

caught us right in the feels

& sure enough time goes by

I found him in another round

talking on the presenting problem

throwing out the weighted baited hook

this time the therapist caught it

passed it softly back with a smile

I think I caught your earlier rehearsal

remind me what is it you forget

to remember hold on to?

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


such a sweet girl

wanted to look after me

buy my clothes to fit

cook me fresh for tea

happy to keep me happy

sweet there in the night

always wanting for me

from me everything to give

& I loved the company

enjoyed the view

knew I could only take

having much less to give

than she wanted needed

asking me home after six

stop the hanging out

with the friends I knew

those cats over the years

the longer times

had worked to pull me through

& the longer I stayed

the more I could see

our paths diverging

where for her there

was a wanting of more

our paths to cross

in front of a priest maybe

cars houses soft babies

a dog sweet patch of lawn



than I had to give

I wouldn’t mind but

she was always unhappy with me

the way I went aah after a drink

how poorly I spoke French

not that she could would or try

& after she left

I saw her broke down at the side of the road

I didn’t stop because I knew

I’d be fixing that wrong

& I wouldn’t mind but

the bitch looked happy

she said she hated my hair my clothes

the way I snored at night

even the way walked in the street

all was a vexation to her

& I was pleased when she went

later I saw her with her new knuckle dragger

bad hair gorilla in an ill-fitting suit

struggling to cross the street

& I wouldn’t mind

but the bitch

looked happy

smell is heat

whats that smell?

I drive off the ferry & it hits

& I wonder for about six seconds

that smell is heat

more precisely heat on tarmac

dry drains thirsty trees & plants

sun smacking down on pavement

& it takes a few seconds more to realise

I am happy

finally some sun & warmth

on this too long a’wintered body

this feels like home


we go to see

this woman

I had something with once

felt things for I think

& she leans in

only a peck on the cheek

on the painted face

I’m searching for clues


where once

I presume

I felt passion

& she talks of how I was

with her

her friends

& the ghosts crowd in

I remember nothing

of her or them

though they feel

they owned

a part of me

enough to feel happy

about that dead past

remind me

remind me

just what it was

I did to you

for you to behave this way?

take away my world

rip the rug under my feet

is it revenge

seeking for something sweet

a dance around my funeral fire

muttering mad phrases

pulling my heart to pieces

feeding them to the pyre

when will be enough?

nothing left but rust

fragments of yesterday

blue lint grey dust

I hope you may be happy then

but you know

& I know

you will still be a liar