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L.K. 2

And, the letter’s sent,

The prescription written.

Drug not available,

I’d nothing to add.

******

I responded, fine penmanship,

In fact, you were always silent.

Since our parting words,

Of course, I, in tears.

******

And, what did you expect?

Fanfare and merriment?

You broke your belief,

And I believed your beliefs incorruptible.

******

And yes: again, this is to you, love,

Lover of old. You never said truths.

I sought the best in situations,

You sought get out clauses.

******

And why, hence, did you take flight?

Was I inspiration or a menace?

I was merely present, always,

You needed to flee me to be free.

******

And why, love, was I of such importance?

You moved on, so I believed.

And, why so defensive, love?

The moment I reached out, in vain.

******

A simple ‘no’ suffices here, love,

Had I provoked? Possible.

But so too did you, with lies,

I’s left too long, abandoned.

******

My lifespan left dreading,

Left wondering. You see,

Now all’s changed, here,

Around these parts of town.

******

I can’t speak for your parts of town,

But you did, in posing a question.

The question of a woman lacking sanity,

And, this is what you lacked …. You loved ….

******

You loved, still. Why not come?

I don’t leave. I didn’t leave. I waited.

Against advice, I awaited you,

Always waiting, never seeing ….

******

But (!), maybe once (!), on a train platform,

And wouldn’t that’ve been so fitting?

For here, I’m at my most sentimental,

You know this, and you know why.

******

Other side of the tracks, in trademark dark fringe,

Dark’, black. Mid-length hair. A short girl,

A woman. Dressed in sailor blues. Near my home,

What did you do here? You loathe these streets.

******

But, it was always a mockery,

I should have known this: I knew.

You, never faithful: I knew,

With your lot of desperate lovers.

******

They called and called, from afar,

You let them suffer in silence.

I was a fool to believe it all,

Which one set you free? I wonder.

******

Far off, you went. No. You were ill,

I couldn’t see you. Nor they.

And where were you, these days?

And your accusations, insane.

******

Where were you? He came’,

You didn’t desire my company.

My company was a harassment,

Was a hardship, to bear.

******

Ah, you were home, love?

But, I was not to know this home,

Not meant to know. You want what, love?

You had all you desired. I still wait.

******

I’ll be here when all turns bad,

And you’ll come to where you ought be.

My L.K.: lover, mysterious to the end,

No: I accept your foibles; you don’t believe.

******

How to show a love I still care?

Go, see the world, return, broken.

The world of your dreams. My world remains,

A second letter, maybe a third …. a fourth.

******

There will be more letters, love,

Pleas, for your safe return.

I know: you’ll come back broken,

You’ll return to me in pieces, love.

******

But when, and shall I wait?

I’ll wait love: one day you’ll see.

There was no mystery,

You’ll connect the dots, clear.

******

Most obvious. You’ll see my love,

Five years: I’ll wait ten, twenty,

For you, you alone. Others have been,

Others will be, but it’s you, love.

******

See your world: I’ll hold this world dear,

When we meet, we’ll be wearied, older.

We’ll set off from whence we left,

See you tonight’ …. I wait, still.

******

See a light. Tire of ‘love’,

False love, of course: he held the keys,

Nothing more. I’ve kept your place

Well intact: you’re always welcome.

******

Read my letter again, love,

See that I’ve succeeded, love.

You always believed love, I know,

And I love you, for this, and other.

******

There’s always a home here,

You said it well: you’ll never

See my home again. But you will, love,

You will. You’ll come home.

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PEASANT GIRLS

Ah, but what a wonderful lie,

And what a marvel, this sleep cure, like death.

I don’t care for this day,

I don’t wish to live this day.

 

This love, that love, another,

None, neither, know of this love.

But the love is, was, real,

At one point, instantaneously.

 

Hence, it comes. I’ll step out,

To a world of noise and cares.

Where no one cares. Ah, the first step,

It’s hard? The first step on a stair.

 

But I feel muscles wither here,

Alone in this small room.

Today, work is due,

One day lost multiplies another.

 

Sigh: why can’t he see reality?

He’s rich off my suffering.

Silent, when alone, despite my wails:

I am alone, too alone, I am inept.

 

How to meet one, a mystery,

But, I met some, at some point.

A coffee in a café named ‘Bell Jar’,

A skinny table; a spilt drink.

 

You may well weep, friend,

For we don’t cry over spilt milk.

Otherwise we’re raped, so it goes,

A poor slave girl, she was.

 

I prefer my peasant girl,

She’s hard, northern European.

She dresses the part. Plain colours,

The colour of her flesh. A bore.

 

I erred. It was not she I wished to know,

There was another, name now forgot.

Image ever present: where is she now?

Is she still there? She’s moved on.

 

We all move on. Has she come?

I’d take her hand, if she came.

And as she came, in my arms ….

Pleasure, with only words …. Yes.

 

I’ll show you the world: yes,

I now know it better.

There was a time when this wasn’t so,

But from my room, I know all.

 

The vantage point of my room is high,

It scrapes skies, not quite, but I hide here.

Someone knocked upon my door,

Left no calling card. I hid ….

 

I hid, beneath my sheets,

In my pyjamas. I think of the peasant.

The girl peasant. Why did she speak of him,

To me? We were alone, driving.

 

And thus went another dream,

Another dreamed love.

She, parentless,

She, of midnight fancies.

 

He, of ruptures daily,

He, most crude, yellowed teeth.

And short, quite short, and strange,

She, quite tall, with no intentions.

 

I don’t contact her,

I always reached out.

Was always blighted,

Leave it to me, I’ll break again.

 

Doctor’s office literature, high brow,

Quite intellectual. You seem intellectual.

Yes. Quite smart indeed, in comfort shoes and all,

And I turn to see: an older man …. surprise.

 

I wish not to hear of flights of fancy,

With black men from elsewhere and such.

And with no attraction you went with him,

Gladly you went with him, to a life of ease.

 

Peasant girls, you see, search lives of ease,

Don’t confuse ease with misalignment:

They’re not whores as some believe,

They don’t seek any rich man, not a one.

 

And how do these men come to you?

On the street or by other means?

I’ve seen films, of romance and other,

Peasant girls, they’re always alone.

 

But, peasant girls sometimes break free,

Free of the fears that bind them.

Bind them to the land,

And, they go far, with suitcase aplenty.

 

But peasant girls, really, do not concern

Those of us of city sanctums.

So instead, we think of city girls

Who go, themselves, with suitcase aplenty.

 

These girls, with courageous hearts and souls,

Who travel well, who travel far.

Who travel alone, for this is how

We travel best …. Alone ….

 

In a stairwell: stained glass provides light,

Dim light: I tired of flailing my arms

To have electric light. People pass,

They go by, struggling up, easing down.

 

Beside me, a lift transports men

With no desire of exertion.

And (!), I recall a forgotten word:

Divine’, for divine is the sleep that is had.

 

And, I hear them downstairs,

They query as to the vagrant resting.

But (!), he is not resting (!), they exclaim,

He is writing, and here, it is begot.

AS ALWAYS, LEFT FRONTAL LOBE

Greeting: black, dark as her hair,

Liable to change, her darling hair,

Stepping out, settling in,

A glass of wine, sunglasses,

Here, we sit in outside air,

Indoors was an option,

Here, we live alone,

A long way from home,

Such is fate, mine,

I waited for your call,

Always, I waited,

They’re on a date, quite jolly,

They howl: they’re fools,

Their follies are a foolery:

Exactly. On dates, we break,

Hearts and other. Break broken hearts,

Already broken down by the masses,

Foreign tongues …. don’t belong here,

Outside the norm, and all,

Push past, look behind: wait,

We’re waiting …. for what ….

 

The petty squabbles,

The petty lives,

All the petty lives,

Down at my feet,

The dandies dress in blue,

I’ve no desire to be him,

Here, we’re conventional,

Said the most conventional,

But, they never question hairdos,

Long and out of place and all,

Not concerned by tax debts,

That leave me broken and all,

And begging, and lacking drugs,

My mind feels at a loss,

As always, left frontal lobe,

Why here, always? There’s a vide.

 

Do we sing merry lies here?

Do we cry jolly farewells?

With weeping and all,

No. I return to failure,

That’s all. Room, surrounded,

By walls and books, never to be read,

For my eyes close with every endeavour,

Here, all remains floored,

And flawed. My brain lacks

Substance and all. Before ….

Fatigue constant. Maybe it’s better,

Now, it’s better. I’ll cut my nails,

He understands the language,

He can’t speak it,

For he lives in realities there,

Feet cold. Open windows. No shoes,

Repetition, I’ve never understood,

I won’t pay that fine. It’s fine,

Debtors’ prison hence,

It’s where I belong,

I’ve paid my fair share,

I’ll await the response,

It won’t come,

And then ….

 

I step out, not,

I see views, dirty windows,

Every break: I’ll clean this, that,

Never. He, she, tall,

She, mother,

He, in dispute,

He, father of cats, et al,

A movie hall, empty,

We would say,

No point playing the movie,

Sorry folks. Friends should have been called,

I hate their progeny,

She’s a big nosed teacher,

We joke a lot, noses,

Is he what he seems?

He seems something he’s not.

 

You’ve changed, been changed,

The capital changed you,

Move from a capital to another,

Second, dull. First, no,

It’s no New York,

In your suburb,

Do you regret it?

Your marriage, etcetera,

I remember your words, still,

Never would you be wed,

Forget discriminations,

Imagined. No one cares for you,

No one thinks of you,

Hence, you’re fine,

You’re nothing special, I conclude,

Yes, but you take the best of.

 

Don’t you worry, dear,

With the summit of extravagance,

Trucks pass by. A racket,

These empty streets,

They’re already quietened,

They’ll awaken one day,

One day soon. We’ll weep,

Brain drugs slow us,

They imitate the brain’s function,

More than before, today,

But I lack one brain drug,

You’re always welcome here,

He’s in love with you,

Has always been your love.

 

I was surprised indeed

To know you still watched,

Then, no more. This other, deranged,

He could have been you, love,

Young, big nosed teacher, bespectacled,

Sees movies alone. I also,

You, love, travel alone,

Where is husband, undesired,

A dilemma, I’m sure,

Now, it can’t be taken back,

Yesterday, my last lost day,

One prays and hopes. The heavens,

How did he do it?

It’s largely uninteresting,

They call it genius,

I like it, for I must.

NAUSEA AFTER THIRD BOWL OF CEREAL

As the title suggests ….

How do I address a bureaucracy?

Hide from calls,

Take no prisoners,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

How do I tackle life’s philosophical questions?

Three bowls of cereal ….

Shall I go near,

Shall I go far,

I go near ….

 

I pay exorbitantly for choices,

Choices which seemed right,

I made the right choices,

Now, bureaucratic nightmare, and,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

Breakfast, lunch, dinner,

Three bowls of ice-cream ….

Early dinner, always,

Of a bowl of cereal,

Sometimes, toast with jam ….

 

They mock. They mock,

This is all I can eat,

Support the independents,

I choose the nearer,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

We can’t do much for the lazy,

Could I prepare a meal?

Could I do what’s required?

Could I correct a text?

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

After the third I’m sickened, it’s true,

And why not ice-cream; we pause to wonder,

We pause to wonder as I prepare to go near,

Important men, and such,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

Is it depression?

It’s a lifestyle choice,

When I don’t eat, I sleep,

Sleeping days away,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

I laugh: it’s a lifestyle choice,

My home is a rabble,

I can but sleep, and eat,

Three bowls of cereal ….

Hating the sun that brings out rabbles ….

 

Rabbles in the street,

Did we know that it would break?

In advance, did we know?

A lonely season ….

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

They’re rowdy in the street,

I’ll stay in cinema halls for life,

Window slightly ajar,

Inside, a rabble ….

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

And what do you propose I do?

Three bowls of cereal ….

But, I must go where?

For this cereal, I must go where?

Soya poisoning. Three bowls of cereal ….

 

It rots the veins,

Does away with teeth,

Makes for sorry states:

My home is in a sorry state,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

And when we advance ….

We never advance ….

First, lunch was promised,

Then coffee ….

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

I wish to be done away with,

Your work was poor,

Good heavens, speak my language,

I remember where they did ….

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

I remember a time as grand,

Hopes and dreams were real,

One fatal error ….

One message sent ….

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

Yes, I know. I’m done with you,

Done with that, all,

It was an abomination! They say,

I heard it tumble, in my sleep,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

I sent her one, as proof,

Eight thousand ways to go wrong,

Eight thousand six hundred!

War attire outdoors,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

Now, I will have no shame,

I’m off their radar,

I take a different route,

The products of extravagance,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

Big bag, small girl,

Checked pants on small girl,

I see her ankle ….

Most undeserved ….

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

On time: to be on time,

Too old for these games,

Hanging around the old haunts,

The closer of the two,

Three bowls of cereal ….

 

Don’t bring him here,

Bring it. Tell her: ‘reply’,

Now late. Once early,

What hair, brushed to perfection ….

Three bowls of cereal ….

DANCE MANIC

I am glad that it was my passing

That brought on the collapse.

The short circuit. Now, without light,

Happily. It’s most pleasant, give or take.

Some struggle to their doors. I smile,

Only one step endangers me.

The bulb is never replaced, will never be,

Future tense or present. Oh, this period

Of the year brings on my weakness,

Ultimate. Last night, I read politics.

Political histories. Don’t judge me,

There’s nothing of more significance.

 

My cat slips and falls, again and again,

Just once, five flights up, and end.

I don’t think that I should be judged,

Eight thousand six hundred, etc.

Etc, full stop. So says editor,

I say no. I defy him, and my doctor.

Who says I’m fine. I die of lack of energy,

I do what I can. One week: all I need.

I don’t need your meeting, friend,

I need to work through exhaustion.

Instead I sleep it through. Quite an annoyance,

I skip it instead: listening to music.

Not modern music, nor classical. Medieval,

In Ireland we have much song, in France.

All differs, not depending on regions, geographic,

Historic. Historically we were born of sleep.

 

They’re burying me under rubble,

Once, I was very generous.

I was mistaken in my generosity:

The bills would come, and come.

This state wants me gone,

Wants my blood: a blood sacrifice.

It’s not cruel; it’s tradition,

You fool. Go home to your nothing.

Here, all’s work. We hear voices,

The voices of work.

 

I blew it all in one hand,

Blew my fortune and all.

Hark! I blew a fuse,

Electrical wires. Electrical tape.

Call, no answer from the receiver,

Sorry, I’m late. He’s late also.

No problem. Couples, hand in hand,

Couples, go into rendezvous together ….

Hand in hand. Soon, the day will come,

Exhaustion will break my writing hand.

 

A quick glance: did she notice?

Slightly older. Too late for children.

Is she a teacher? Does she hold the fort of a library?

Neither. She’s a housewife, with housewife duties.

And what exactly are housewifely duties?

Making calls, making calls. Today, she’s ill.

Stopping, starting, breaking spirits,

Calling, leaving no message.

Doctor: stop this drug,

I: okay. I do as he says.

 

Singing crazily in supermarket queues,

She’s quite a beauty: my beauty.

In supermarket aisles she dances, manic,

My beauty. Stay with me.

Don’t retreat to suburbs,

And open sewers. They’ll eat you alive.

Until your carcass is nothing but bones,

Bloody bones. A mess in the sewer streams.

 

Careful, careful: we trot along,

Crash, crash: the sound of construction.

He’s now dead: we now watch him,

With envy. Why do we not surmise and such?

He is simply a dead man, outcast,

Forgotten? Not as such, but maybe.

 

Travelling far for cinema,

And it’s a strike day and all.

I only eat cereal: I’m gracious,

Sometimes bread with jam.

The food of the recluse,

No one to call. Awaiting a call.

A messenger will come,

Dressed in period costume.

 

I laugh gaily, for she died young,

Most known, in her circle.

Why, love? If you need drugs, come

Here. Now I need one less:

Now, it’s yours. Rejoice, love.

Lover, rejoice. Why so melancholic, always,

They broke your heart? Don’t say that.

 

They say the trial killed him, and yes?

Henceforth? I barely killed him myself.

Locked away as he was: cloistered,

Who dosed whom? Overdosed.

He paid money to be doomed

To the grave …. who paid whom?

We lived lavishly here,

Away! Away with you! No more to add.

I’ve no more to say, to you or others,

Famous last words: I speak endlessly.

Eternally, until they’re all asleep,

And hence, I walk out, free, the sun on my back.

 

Death by lethal injection,

Death by suicide.

I killed to be killed,

It was a suicidal act,

My homicidal act,

And I handed myself in.

I submitted to all their questioning,

All their torture and torment.

We believe in capital, not corporal, punishment,

I understand the logic: soon dead.

 

A strange man comes and speaks to me,

A priest, a man with a strange accent.

Hence, we walk along a road?

A golden road. Sorry. But,

I never repented. I regret nothing,

Except my statutory rape, of years past.

They’ve all now long forgot,

I was feeling, I feel (past and present), most alone.

A MISSING LINE

An early sun,

And all goes wrong.

An early sun ….

A long day ….

A long day to wonder,

To wander. To where?

 

Henceforth, a sufferance,

A suffragette, etcetera.

Who was right, who wrong?

A massive piece of woodwork.

A class for lowly fools,

Who can’t afford to wait.

 

It’s a shame, the imagery,

No problems. Think at will.

It’s a shambles, this homestead,

I can force myself out.

But what is there out there?

I’ve seen it. I’ve done it, all.

 

Don’t ask questions. She has the answers,

Half, less, submit what’s owed.

Worried, not. My time will be wasted,

Then rather than now.

Sleep in clothing. Live in ….

I’ve no live in. I struggle and strive.

 

I’ve seen where they lived,

The men of history.

Not recent histories,

Their homes sicken me.

They didn’t struggle and strive,

No: quite the contrary.

 

Older partners leave nice settlements,

For we loved better, better than others.

Longer lines – they’re no problem,

A business, a friend. I know no difference.

Inarticulate. We know the reasons,

I listen to the song, where all begins.

 

All begins with music, classical,

All that young lovers know is ….

I can’t see what her bag contains,

Is it murder, is it loving?

She, death before me. She informed me,

Quite a lady. To hold her hand ….

 

She assaulted me with a kiss,

That I misunderstood, at first.

Far easier, the mores of this land,

Are the names right? I know not her name.

Short haired, dark haired beauty,

A current obsession, I know.

 

To be known is petty,

To be known as ….

It’s ready, though it’s shorthand,

Leave me time …. a year.

Springtime …. next,

In springtime, we’ll laugh.

 

Forget a line, add a line,

It’s not how it was intended.

But now I know, and all’s right,

And good. I’ll add nothing.

There was a deadline, a curfew,

And here, the missing line ….

 

I’ll tell him with a little note,

He’ll know it’s me without a name.

A signature. Return to sender,

Returned to sender, unknown.

We recognise handwriting, not,

They all feel the same hardships.

 

Can you break a twenty, a fifty?

Breakfast for dinner, normal, we know.

When we sleep in clothing, etcetera,

They make the right decisions, for us.

A simple gift idea. That’s me,

And my work. Me, I strove.

 

Death beat me to the plate,

He works long. Late to literature.

Work till death: the work kills him,

My work: it kills me also.

It’s not what it was, never,

Before. Hitherto. Don’t touch it.

 

Don’t touch my work. Leave it then,

Enter. No greeting. Unlike before.

The head, the chief, does little,

That is visible: he makes tough calls.

Hard decisions and such. I don’t need two,

Fool. The fool will die in prison.

 

He looks pathetic now, I know,

He’s seen the rigours, hard time.

Now, he’ll flee, to island paradise,

And as for his wife? Oh well.

She chose poorly. Once a beauty,

She knew, always. She’s as guilty, not.

 

We call a truce: he’ll be free,

The black man, he’ll be free.

To divide and conquer, but,

He remains a slave, we know.

And the white man fears him,

We live in bourgeois quarters.

 

And when we die in prison?

A wooden cross marks our place.

An anonymous wooden cross, nameless,

No one will weep there, ever.

A private burial for you, dear sir,

We won’t advise your kin, etcetera.

 

Letters go unanswered, for too long,

An anonymous grave; an anonymous book.

Which stands the test of time, etcetera,

Anonymous artwork, from a simple time.

A simpler time. When was it ever simpler?

We always have greater complication, I know.

 

Edit, update. Change, buy here, poor friend,

Or I’ll buy for you, you, too poor to pay.

How did it get this way, poor friend?

You lost out on a wager, or some such fate.

Wagers are not wise: play them slyly,

Otherwise, not at all. Adieu.

A LIFE LIVED

Off with baby,

A horrible laugh,

Deep and all.

The titan is no more,

A day to bid adieux,

To old friends and other.

Sleep in silence,

The blinds drawn,

My eyes can’t see.

Though I set tasks,

Challenges. I can’t begin,

Daytime movies …..

Attraction: music,

Storyline: absent,

I’ll be there at noon.

I pay my rent,

My room’s freehold,

Charged for utilities.

Uninteresting advertisements,

Publicity for what I wish,

Not. Why don’t they know?…

The scrounging for scraps,

The scrunching of paper,

Carrying bags, for travel.

I thought I saw you, twice,

Once, most mesmerising,

Once, I erred.

There was never attraction,

You, most plain,

You brought my coffees, a delight.

A ringing bell,

A door opens,

Two doors, one closes.

Push, they say,

I never, I won’t,

I’m here under duress.

Under influence, I came,

A first time, a second,

Now I’m most accustomed.

Is your hair still short?

Short for the summer, in winter,

It suits you well, dear ladybug.

A phone rings,

Much commotion,

It’s hard to keep a cool head.

The days are long here,

Bearded doctors say it all,

They remain plain, still.

Barista, barrister, doctor,

All extremely plain,

One quite eccentric, in truth.

And here, we speak truths,

There is no benefit to lying,

But sometimes it’s hard, we know.

Talking to brick walls,

Wishing to sleep late,

The appointment must be made.

Only she has the right to listen,

We’re strapped to walls in padded cells,

Barely a comment upon arrival ….

The silence tells me the hour’s near,

When truths will come out

And secrets told. We know his entrance well:

Fast paces past,

No greeting in the least,

He worries not for me.

I hear their hallelujahs,

Their conversation inspires nothing,

I don’t understand their language: nothing.

But, just why did I come here?

The coffee here’s bitter,

It leaves a rotten taste in the mouth, the gut.

Why are sirens always heard?

It’s always much ado, etc,

I’m now the absent one.

And what of when I pass,

As I will. Will they watch me go?

Will they wonder, smiling.

My dear god. Midgets stand at the bar here,

Beside me. What fearsome creatures they are,

They should have been aborted, at any length.

If only she would stand away from me,

She’s clearly a new inhabitant of the quarter,

She should never have been allowed.

Do these people work?

What would they be fit for?

Shovelling on coal, perhaps.

And what does your night have in store?

Why, I’ll return home,

I don’t care for extravagance.

And what of midgets breeding?

Why, this ought to be outlawed,

This is regardless of scientific facts.

Why, of course we stare, midget,

They stare at me also,

For I’m in strife followed by strife.

But you see not my strife, midget,

It’s far too high for your eyes to see,

Without a stepladder or such.

I ought to be held for ransom,

And bailed out to wander,

To take leave of hometown worries.

A bearded fellow,

Speaks too loud to be heard,

He’s got worries, as do all.

Midgets are expert pickpockets,

They speak up to be heard,

Much as beards block out volume.

They clear tables,

They pick vegetables,

They’re paid for such services.

Part-time is a life lived,

Yes, this is the newspaper, and?

Oh, it must be read, by you. Okay.

The vines fall slowly when cut,

We’ll make wine, or other delicacies,

I’m elsewhere, this was my error.

Here, they slurp,

With idiot looks on faces,

Ah. A car’s sound blocked it out.

Why not take your time?

It will be here when you return,

Coffee, at the press of a button.

It’s like magic, the coffee here,

Don’t go over the limit,

I won’t, unless ….

If he had been later ….

Had I returned home ….

I may have shown more fluency ….