My American Friend
tried to be self sufficient
but instead broke
my mother’s washing machine
& her world collapsed
one Thursday evening
summer sun stoking her rage
single parents fear the god
of white goods
I tried in vain
to stop her insulting you
from behind glass doors
but she kicked you out anyway
and you went to stay with my brother
& later
when porn was found
on my mother’s pc
I let you take that bullet too
I never told you that
but fuck it
you were already gone
spending your days on sofas
beguiling British adult children
with your movie voice
plucking your guitar
for an African girl
with a Swedish passport
making Brandon hill a bedpost
teletext telling you
flights to Stockholm
were more expensive
than she’d let on

The dark room
was open
to first year students
most weekday afternoons
there were three
or four of us
at a time
I thought
they were just concentrating
on the spindle
like myself
but I later found out
he was fingering her
right there
less than five feet away
while I was groping
for the fruits

of my labour


The Last Bastion
He has left
his lights on
in late January
pale fruits appear
& disappear
and appear again
in the corner
of our bedroom
he is trying
to remind everyone
of better times
but instead underscores
the daily struggle
to keep track
of what the fuck’s going on
past present future
free sacred or sanitized
it all just becomes blink blink
blink blink
blink blink

blink blink

blink blink

Cataracts, Children & Star Signs
I hear a woman
on the street
talking to an elderly neighbour
trying in vain
to sell cleaning products
small talk can be
excruciatingly dull
cataracts, children
& star signs
I can’t help but sympathise
like spending the morning
in the biggest library on earth
but not a single word printed
on any of the pages
and a voice on the line
always on the line
demanding six quotes by noon
when I worked in sales
I would say I had an appointment
and go home for lunch
fat pasties in the microwave
and sports news
then my lunch break would end
and I would remain seated
staring at the laptop
sometimes looking at well shot photos
of beautiful women
without any clothes on
most of them doing silly things
like acting surprised by cushions
or leaning against doorframes
I was asking depression
if she would like to dance
but depression was saying
‘not now, let me just finish my drink’
and so I used to sit there and stare
humming along to the hit parade
the number one track
playing on repeat
your job just turned to shit, baby
what you gonna do for money now?

We used to walk across
to this French pizzeria
that served thick slabs
of comfort
cheesy grease bricks
made good life rafts
I celebrated a birthday there
my brother
brought his new girlfriend
a secret Jehovah
gave me a fuchsia 
Bobby LP
and as we were leaving
I asked my brother
how things we going
he told me
he wasn’t sure
if his new girlfriend
was a man
‘but haven’t you slept together yet?’
I asked
‘Yes’ he replied

‘that’s why I’m worried’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s