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Of a new book,

A new chapter,

A fresh start:

It’s illusory.

 

Stepping back

And all’s changed,

There’s no way back.

Add a year,

It’s not worth it.

 

I’ll go elsewhere.

They’re rich off me,

Add a wing,

Distribute wealth,

Take my land.

 

Secondhand goods.

Today’s long,

It stretches out.

I listened,

Within earshot.

 

It was pleasant,

It was a shock,

It was needed.

I learnt from him,

He changed me.

 

I’ll ask her out,

I won’t see her,

She’s busy,

She stood me up,

Watching the time.

 

Calling, calling,

No answer.

It’s a heatwave,

In open air,

The noonday sun.

 

Speak my language,

It’s easy,

She understood,

She heard my voice,

The whispered words.

 

There’s a crowd,

We line up,

Apologies,

Don’t mention it,

I wait and wait.

 

Street corners,

Conspicuous,

Ready to launch,

Misfire,

Friendly fire.

 

I missed my love,

She stole hours,

I’d been promised,

She told a lie,

Quite terrible.

 

I was ashamed,

Embarrassed.

I read her thoughts,

She signs her name,

Her initials.

 

I’m blinded,

It’s in Braille,

Write in cursive,

Lower case

Letters home.

 

Special women,

They honour them,

They’re now dead,

Another age,

She lost soulmates.

 

He was equal,

Superior.

It’s all untrue,

She’s our shame,

We respect her.

 

On wedding nights

Everything’s black.

Enunciate,

Learn Latin,

Speak Hebrew.

 

A cross to bear,

It’s most hidden.

See the surface,

Look below,

A flesh wound.

 

Knock on my door,

Make a call,

I’m silenced.

There’s nothing,

It’s an error.

 

It’s a falsehood,

I wrote a song.

I was needed,

I was cut loose,

There was no more.

 

I bled out,

I’m the same,

I’m ashamed.

I’m convinced,

I’m guilty.

 

Accept advice,

She doesn’t care.

Sleep over,

Fully clothed,

Squander wealth.

 

Plunder the poor,

Close the window,

It’s raining.

She hummed a tune,

She’s his idol.

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TWENTY YEARS

Twenty years,

Simple times,

Where it went

I don’t know.

 

Crowded rooms

Of town halls,

Anxiety

And errors.

 

The fool spoke,

He came out,

Twenty years,

It was clear.

 

She longs now

And recalls,

On the top

Of the world.

 

Japanese

Winters and

Springs. We freeze,

It’s humid.

 

Before or

After. I

Remember

No longer.

 

Rhyming slang,

Marked in gold

Or silver,

It works out.

 

It gets there,

To the source,

Fat off it,

She’s rich, vain.

 

She needs it

For herself,

For habits,

She’s troubled.

 

In choirs

She sings loud,

She’s too strong,

Her voice breaks.

 

Opera queens,

Drama queens,

She’s a queen

Tomorrow.

 

I’m not there,

I tire

In shadows,

I sleep now.

 

The beauty

Is blinding,

Her skin’s young,

She’s older.

 

Twenty years,

She’s ashamed,

It’s the same,

All was fine.

 

It passed quick,

The world turned,

Closed curtains,

We’re blinded.

 

Watching screens,

Watching time,

Twenty years,

I missed out.

 

She’s special

In my eyes,

She was cruel,

She’s broken.

 

I’ll love her,

She saved me,

She saw me,

I played loud.

 

Alarms sound,

It’s dark out,

Step too close,

Reach out, touch.

 

It distorts,

It shatters,

I was known,

I was one.

 

I sit still,

I wallow,

I stay home

In the warmth.

 

Meet fathers,

Brothers. They’re

Holding tight,

It’s easy.

 

In the sun,

In the south,

I was right,

It’s too long.

 

Twenty years

And six days,

Avoid them

For hours.

 

Weeks have come

And gone, been,

Right a wrong,

She’s guilty.

 

In the cold,

Step outside

Into death,

The terror.

ADIEUX AND FAREWELLS

If I’d been home

Where all was fine,

I’d have been loved,

I’d have seen love,

She’d have called out.

 

Daily hellos,

Never adieux

Or farewell meals:

Pasta and wine.

She was faithful,

She broke her heart.

 

Unexpected

Was the bad news.

I’d have held her –

It was all wrong.

 

They don’t reply.

I knew her well,

Knew what would come,

Her famous line,

It’s endearing –

I’m dear to her.

They don’t forget,

There’s no escape:

There’s a scapegoat.

 

There’s no excuse:

I’m impulsive.

I left for her,

She wasn’t mine,

She said two words,

She was ready.

 

I was elsewhere

With another.

I was a fool,

It was Christmas,

Three years ago.

Now I don’t know –

She’s with child.

 

I’m still the one,

I always was.

She erred with him,

There was distance

Eternally.

It was tragic,

Her story’s old.

 

There’s no romance,

She entrapped him.

I’d have been glad

To fall victim,

Fall into holes.

 

She was married,

It was a joke.

Her fiancé

Was nobody,

She had no one.

 

They were bad times,

She came in heels,

She wore glasses,

She wore me down.

 

I’ve no resolve,

She’s related,

Lovely sisters:

There’s only one.

 

Psychologists

Analyse us,

They mesmerise,

They hypnotise.

I call the nurse,

She comes in whites.

 

That damned winter,

Horrible towns.

I’m at home here.

Dedications

To my past self.

 

Don’t say that term,

I brought smiles.

It took a month,

I’ll get on it:

You won’t change me,

There’s too much care.

 

I’m culpable,

I’m ropeable.

I’m out of time,

Out of control.

 

There’s but regret,

A broken heart.

It’s essential:

They pay my way.

 

Perfect, these eyes,

We were all young,

We spoke oddly,

She’s accented.

 

You’re on the list,

You’re the last left,

You crave a life,

You don’t give up.

 

I longed for her,

I long for her,

He’s not the one,

I lie in bed,

She’s beside me.

 

Wake with a start,

She kicked. She punched.

Let the sun shine,

Let the day break.

 

Where are the men?

They’re behind beards,

Dressed to impress

In a small room.

THE INKBLOT

They play soft,

It wakes me.

I awake

At midnight,

Up and down

Until dawn.

 

A headache,

My morning.

Still, music,

Poetry.

She’s singing

Perfectly,

Mother tongue

Is missing.

 

She broke me,

Broken hearts,

Shattered dreams.

Precious jewels,

Crystal’s shined.

 

I pay her,

She cleans up.

Whores in shacks,

There’s true love.

 

Respect him,

Your teacher,

Teaching life.

There’s no more,

No more trust.

 

Jealousy:

I’m guilty.

Around back,

I stared hard.

 

Train platforms,

You vanished.

Right or left,

Right or wrong.

Write a note,

It’s over.

Leave the key,

It’s adieu.

 

I’m relieved,

I escaped

From a hole.

Religion’s

All around.

Believers,

They mock me.

Sanctuaries

Invaded.

Persecute

In my name.

Blasphemy,

Idiots.

Cross yourself,

They fear me.

 

Be afraid,

Holy deaths,

Slit the throats.

Count backwards,

Never leave.

Ends of days,

Ends of time.

 

Sacred prayers,

Listen, boys.

It’s absurd,

Girls, silence.

Sit alone

At the back.

Blonde, glasses,

She’s the one.

 

You’ll be poor,

The pay’s low.

There, I’m rich,

In public.

I figure

Out figures.

The inkblot,

The devil.

 

Don’t judge us,

He’s the king.

He’s guilty,

A coffee?

No. Not here.

 

Still in debt,

On my way.

They sell out,

Take my wealth.

 

Send letters,

No reply.

I recall

Harder times.

They robbed me,

Nothing’s gone.

 

Poorly timed,

No excuse.

Steal my words,

Bitter thoughts.

 

I’m the last,

It’s fatal.

The illness,

Terminal.

 

Normalise,

It’s not me.

Edited

Mysteries.

 

Lost out there

In the woods,

Wilderness.

Wild times,

A moment

In the sun.

BORROWED NAMES

It’s early

And I’m up

To maintain

A peaceful

Humdrum state.

 

I lie flat

On a couch.

How I’d like

To return

To a hav-

En: my bed.

 

Come Tuesday

I’ll die slow-

Ly, facing

My demons.

On Monday

They’ll disturb

Me on end.

They’ll call me.

I never

Said two words.

 

Send along

Your best hope.

I saw her

Before them.

They don’t look

Out for me.

 

Play her songs.

She was moved.

Reclusive

Genius

Is knowing.

 

Speak to me.

I’ll wait long.

I’ll leave soon.

I’ll walk blind

Into alleys.

 

Come upon

Us in tweed.

In book shops

Steal and gift.

Keep money

For yourself.

 

Visibly

You’re troubled.

Suicide,

Belles lettres and

Beautiful

Ecstasies.

 

Fantasies

Are your life.

I see you

Through the cracks.

You’re naked,

You’re nothing.

Aroused? No.

 

For a time

I lied, sinned,

Ashamed. Though

I knew love

After your

Departure.

You took flight.

You’re far now.

You’re homesick.

It’s life here

Or there. It’s

All the same.

 

Obstructed

Views are sad.

I’ll bore them.

I was born.

The wrong age

Holds steadfast.

 

Borrow names.

She’s not free.

Common thieves

Know the way.

I’m most lost.

I refuse

Her true love.

 

I don’t cry.

Climb the stairs

Up two flights.

See the world,

Not the ground.

 

Catch a bus

To horror.

Remind me

To forget.

She broke me.

I’m damaged.

 

All was fine.

I could live

Poorly and

Tragically.

 

She looked sick.

She was thin.

Run from me.

No hello,

Excuse me.

Find her then.

You’re absurd.

You’re jealous.

 

Say the truth.

I’ve only

Eyes for you,

Not always.

Eternal

Laughter was

Mine. I let

Go your hand.

SONGS AND PRAYERS

A call home,

A call out,

Nothing came,

I was ready,

Walk through the door,

Ring the bell,

No response.

 

She replied

With bad news,

I’m indifferent,

All’s quiet,

I wonder,

They think they care,

The exit’s there,

I’m searching.

 

Step in fire,

Burn bright red,

Burn longly,

Shut down the hope,

Shut up the shop,

It’s but a room,

My enemy,

I miss him.

 

She’s pregnant,

She took time,

The baby’s born,

He looks away,

The window’s closed,

Back and forth

They always go.

 

Stare straight ahead,

They’re children,

At once they’re here,

I await

The silence.

 

Violinists

Are standing

Before a crowd,

He attacks me,

Strings me up

With steel strings.

 

Take a bow,

It’s over,

You played well,

It’s legal

On the street,

In discomfort,

He’s her lover,

A lucky man,

She’s charming.

 

Across the sea,

A distant light,

I accept this,

I see clearly,

Wooden barracks

Are freezing,

Rat infested,

We’re vermin.

 

Don’t count down,

It’s finished,

He’s in a box,

Ready to move,

Doctors cure

Fools and witches.

 

Interesting

Images,

Obsolete

Songs and prayers,

Side by side

In a circle,

Speak to spirits,

A poltergeist.

 

Vengeful men,

Have time off,

Repeat the word,

It’s difficult,

They don’t listen,

Arrive early,

Arise early,

The day beckons,

The day breaks.

 

I hear a sound,

They’d say I’m loud,

Energetic,

It starts on time,

Pay my way,

I’m the poorest,

They say I’m free,

I’m caged, beaten.

 

I’m stripped naked,

Bring a suitcase,

A change of clothes,

We’ll rob you blind,

Children suffer,

Gold and silver

Is offered,

Offer yourself.

 

It’s desolate,

It’s poetry,

Holocausts

Dissipate,

Genocides bore,

I still believe,

Love’s holy,

Love falsely,

Liberate hearts.

 

I’m not learned,

I teach them,

They’re now wise,

Sign your name,

I’m waiting,

It’s too late,

Give it a year,

Give or take.

COUNTLESS PENNIES

It’s been a while,

I’d thought longly,

For me it was over,

I broke their hearts,

They were shattered,

In two pieces and all,

I laughed, turning,

Looking back there,

They were confused,

I wasn’t committed,

I’m not at all now,

I’m prepared to go,

To wait, for years,

Why don’t they call?

They’ve my number,

I remind them, timely,

They can’t forget,

They won’t. I’ll be first,

Is there anyone else?

They’re priorities, nought,

I preferred being alone,

There, she speaks to me,

She liaises with mother,

My native tongue, broken,

Apologies. It’s fine,

The sun’s not yet up,

It’s early. I’ve much,

I’m paid a pittance,

Countless pennies banked,

I’m wealthy, not off them,

Off their back I’m poor,

I walk in crumpled blues,

My clothes are lost,

They no longer shine,

It’s always the same,

I’m on the right side,

I hear a dishwasher,

He’s busy in a sink,

She handwashes all,

Her linen’s ever fresh,

She’s depressed at length,

Postpartum, my love,

She was to be mine,

A lifetime ago, she was,

She doesn’t know me,

She’s in discomfort,

Was it worth it? No,

You’ll be forever bitter,

He, she, broke spirits,

Spines. You’re huge,

Nobody, in obscurity,

You’ll make your way,

Home is across oceans,

You double-crossed me,

You’re behind my back,

You plot. You whisper,

I hear your thoughts,

You scream. You push,

What’s your soundtrack?

Your child wails loud,

I stare. I’m travel-weary,

I’m jet-lagged. I sleep,

Days disappear slowly,

I missed him, his visit,

He returned later on,

He grew there for years,

He was mature, old,

He remained, unmoved,

He associates with fools,

Soon to be fathers,

No babies, no cats,

He’s rich, in a mansion,

It’s smaller than that,

Great writers envy,

They loathe the land,

They don’t bother,

Setting off’s a drama,

He has one dear friend,

He came for a barbecue,

He sat and smoked,

In a corner, it was warm,

A cool drink in hand,

Beer was always flowing,

There was no limit,

There was no time,

I don’t remember,

No. Your dears are gone,

They were murdered,

Rightly, I was young,

The funeral was large,

I was absent until death,

Come over for lunch,

Leave before I perform,

I’m here, on stage,

I’m a solitary creature,

I long for her still,

She’s of the other,

On the opposite side,

I jump across roofs,

I’ve no fear of them,

I have but a small space,

She’ll be here soon,

Next week she’ll speak,

I’ll keep a safe distance,

She’ll voyage far,

I’m a part of her dream,

I could reach out,

Now it’s difficult,

If she’d only recalled,

Her green eyes forgot,

I’ve known her for decades,

Her heart’s now broken,

She makes her way,

It’s okay. She lies,

One day she’ll die,

It’s years from now,

Her suicide in adulthood,

I’ll say some holy words,

I won’t pray in silence,

She was unfaithful,

She uttered sad facts,

She was living it up,

She was in the south,

She knows east from west,

Will I wish her well?

It all got away from her,

We once walked the streets,

We sat down to coffee.