Paul Steffan Jones 1st


 

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Where Did I Put My Country? (Avalon)


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-04-22

Struggling to find the end of a roll of Sellotape

despite his best intentions for this not to happen again

he’s all fingers and thumbs just as he is when trying

to open clear polythene bags in a supermarket

the energy expended on the need to trim his finger and toenails

the time taken to get around to doing it

and feeling good when it is done

maybe life would be better in a kind of standby mode

only waking up when an act is about to take place

he deplores TV programmes like Britain’s Got Talent

the exaggerated melodrama of slightly delaying the announcement

of which hopefuls have been voted in or out of this week’s show

that pantomime pause a menopause by the men of pause

he thinks it could be replaced by something like

Britain’s Got Tories

Britain’s Got Troubles

or Britain’s Got Right Wing Terrorists

these would be much more sincere and illuminating

especially if the same selection method is used

television as the Tower of Babel that moved like a demented crab

into a box then a flat screen and into our gibberish conversations

he’d like to have been a highly-decorated warrior relaxing

in a highly-decorated lounge but this was not to be and is not

instead he obsesses about militaria though he is ashamed

of how his Government uses its armed forces to kill civilians

in his name funded by revenue he was obliged to hand over

it’s almost a point of honour that he is or at least pretends

to be strong enough to offer to help friends to carry heavy items

also denies that he is feeling the cold despite the fact that it is cold

though this is getting harder as age planes away the resistance from his bones

and he appears even more ridiculous when inappropriately lightly attired

he tries not to get too hung up about about demarcation

though he has a door a gate a fence a scripture of passwords

and a clear understanding of where his personal space ends

he admits he falls foul of the Trades Description Act

existing on a small island in the middle of a tarn

of sodium hypochlorite like they did in the legends

afraid to venture out because of the risk of corrosion of his disambulation

the box sets abound

the anniversary re-release of albums

the anniversary re-release of an anniversary re-release

so touching the need to commemorate

to remember to empty pockets at regular points

the demise of former versions of the calendar

too much material collected and not offered in sacrifice

with more on the way

the fads the short-lived allegiances

squeezed into under places

a vacuum-packed heir with not enough memory

for too many memories

too much of him even

he forgets his PIN forgets his sin forgets the hymns forgets he’s him

he can breathe he can walk he can talk when he wishes

he can sleep he can wake he can see he can hear

he can hope he can know that flight has thus eluded him

so all bets are off

he reserves a special enmity for the super rich and is motivated

not to urinate on them when they inevitably combust and their reign is over

though hypocrisy will never expire there’s enough of it to go around

and we will squabble squawk and skirmish over their loot

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Where Did I Put My Country? (Meteorites)


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-04-07

Acquiring useful things has become more important

in his later years of reflection and bigger pictures

as he unpacks the black and yellow hard plastic case

that conveys and conceals a Combi drill

pulls it out fits the battery into the hand grip

poses with it briefly pressing the trigger

a short whirr of the bit making him believe

he’s in a remake of Bladerunner

that he could some damage with this power tool

whilst considering how many of the current crop

of Members of Parliament could do with

an injection of honesty good manners and humanity

stored deep in an unremarkable darkness in his house

is a tool box that contains some of his collection of arms

those knives bayonets clubs and handguns

he keeps out of sight of the few visitors he receives

but easy enough to access should civil war break out

in the supermarkets at ATMs in hospitals and schools

on slip roads country lanes and in car parks

when the whole country gets acquainted

with how weaponized it is

and how much of it has an urgent need

to separate from the misplaced exceptionalism

of London and the south east of England

taking back control as they would have it

betrayal is a word bandied about a lot

in the hot air of the moment

but he feels badly let down

by much of information technology

suffering the buffering of streaming services

when he has at last sat down to watch something

he was looking forward to after a day of what he does

nothing works anymore there's so much junk around

the promise of home entertainment winds hims up

and he wishes he was back in the 17th or even the 7th century

he wrestles too with packaging

amazed and exasperated at how robust it is

when he tries to open it with implements

perhaps the manufacturers are collectively possessed

of a black humour and conspire to make it difficult

for their customers to break into their products

he realises he may be paranoid but could also be right

he's feeling a little uncomfortable even guilty

about his sincere interest in serial killing cases

because he's now learned that he should have paid

more attention to the mostly female victims

but he can't always remember their names

which kind of proves a point he is slow to acknowledge

he prefers his poets dead in the main

it's nothing personal nothing he wishes for anyone

that's how he's interacted generally for decades

the finite information the finite nostalgia

nothing to fear any more a line drawn

he gardens industriously and ironically

now that the UN has given the soil sixty years

he could cry letting his tears water his parcel of land

at least he'll be long in the ground by then

but he feels for the kids the birds the animals the fish

the insects the trees the flowers the forests the savannah

the oxygen the wind the moon the sun the stars

the sea the streams the lakes the rivers

the lovers and the possibilities

he holds his breath when neighbours mispronounce

his name and those of his parents and his house

he tries to smother a snort of contempt

for these are good folk they’re just like him

though he can understand when others complain

about thousands of strangers settling in their home areas

nothing is as it used to be

today his web photo archive provider sent him an image

to remind him of this date one year ago

a photo of an area of dampness on a ceiling

the reminiscing of an algorithm there's no contest

even if the robots will take over as it appears they will

he chuckles and recalls the word clusterfuck

that crops up in his newspaper rather often these days

tonight he waits for a meteorite shower to arrive

an honour though he's a little impatient

fretting that he's looking at the wrong patch of sky

he need not worry for this has been done before

and is still wonderful

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Conversations with One's Heroes


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-03-07

Pete Shelley

and Mark Hollis

from Leigh

and Tottenham

the very best of England

die in their early 60s

older than me

I looked up to them

especially when I was a youth

aware that they too were young

a little like elder brothers

I never had

lost in their post-rock sounds

making me meander

in fever contemplation

and fervid word formation

I accept

it’s OK to cry

it’s OK for your upper body

to quiver and convulse

it’s OK to feel

it’s OK

it’s OK

to be you

accept the gift

the warrior puts on his socks

in the hushed pre-dawn camp

he’s unable to see what he’s doing

turns out he wore odd socks

when joining the field of battle

when they stretchered his body away

with all the others

I accept the gift

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Change Hands


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-02-25

A pound found

on the ground

on which he'd parked

the car

he spends it or 99p

to be precise in a charity shop

on a Fred Astaire CD

for his mother in law

the remaining penny

goes into the collection box

on the counter

in the dwindling town centre

still warm with coffee

and giving

he is happy with the symmetry

of the day

the chance findings

the changing hands

his changed needs

a different sort of payday

his changed self

recycled now like everything

that once existed

exists now

and is to exist

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

I Thought I Had More Time


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-01-23

My tribe

my place in it

the island of our existence

and patriarchs entitled

John John

David David

Evan Evan

Rees Rees

Owen Owen

Thomas Thomas

they did not have many names

and never questioned why

it was so long ago

when there were fewer words

available to be connected

to people who had no names

who were our ancestors

Dylan Marlais Thomas

they forget the middle name

in the land where you need

three names to be identifiable

from the next Thomas

the next DT

somehow there are two suns in the same sky

the primary school yard is

overlooked by a house

in which I live

I don’t know how to like people

they are strange and frightening

I stood where the sun did not reach

I moved my feet a few feet

it took me many years

of tiny toe actions

and Herculean effort

and several changes of footwear

to see the sunshine on my toes

summoning me from my cave

the sons of the hinterland farms

were written off as “hambones”

I was probably closer to them

than I admitted

than I suspected


the clipped enclaves of council

houses replacing former tied cottages

on the edges of villages

bring back the countryside

living on the land

an end to employment

and its tyrannies

some people's furrowed brows

as the result of invisible ploughs

a half-remembered agriculture

of the mind superimposed

on meadows of skin

I was thin then

thought the wind would blow me away

him that wind

him that did not

now tries again with renewed oxygen

I am heavier

more anchored

holding on to a metal post

conveying a button

at a pedestrian crossing

I felt the cold in the days

with less flesh on bones

pre central heating

those guards in front of coal fires

what were they guarding?

what was necessary?

what was required?

what was essential?

it was getting harder to tell

keeping on top of things

or at least to their sides

sliding backwards slowly

on a sloping concrete path of ice

laden and with a hedge

for a handrail

Nature to my rescue again

the bunch of fives

always offered

turn it around

so that it faces itself

disarms itself

Mars bars

Milky Bars

Curly Wurlies

Puffa Puffa Rice

Nesquick

Corona

dandelion and burdock

gobstoppers

and Bazookas

we became the sherbet herberts

the invasion of sugar

taking over certain

hours of my life

punk came

punk rock

punks

do it yourself

be brave

with one's talent nowhere near

fully formed

or likely to ever be

bass boom lines

wafer guitar chimes

chanting

him that wind a hymn

33 or 45 rpm

12 or 7 inches of

hypnotic black whirlpool

the depths

crackling

the gems among the dust

John Peel on late night Radio 1

a Japanese cassette player at the ready

capturing the sound and its attendant

inimitable and irritating hiss

I wore the big hopeful badges

of the new sound

until it was superseded

and there was no further use for

those silhouettes of rodents and wreaths

a walking pictorial promotion of a moment

puck rock suicide Scottish guitarists

pipe me aboard

their all-steel pistols

pointing to my place in the mud

I try to accompany them

by desperately coaxing

a beat from the keys and coins

in my pockets

I am here for the equinox

preparing for equality

whilst developing into a crooner

of my own love life

my acceptance of loans

out of kilter with any other sort

of tribal gathering

an electric guitar solo strikes up

and I can’t breathe

for this epiphany

as I have outlived my heroes

and give thanks for songs that outrank

most people I have met

in their importance to me

sometimes there are glistening listeners

attentive and orderly

other times it's shuffles

and an embarrassment

of embarrassments

that loud scraping sound

of uncomfortable chairs being moved

sing something simple

for you

and for me

Top of the Pops

Pan’s People

T Rex

Showaddywaddy

The Sweet

Slade

Alvin Stardust

Gary Glitter

Jimmy Saville

Jim’ll fix it

the can-do years

the make-believe adolescence

the lack of confidence

the impudence

the insolence

the smiles of the circling hyenas

the pasted-on tinsel sneer veneer

of the promise that did not deliver

the cover story for secret domination

of one’s private madness and oppression

Father Christmas must share the blame

the anticipation of a munificence

of presents delivered by a mysterious stranger

who enters like a burglar

a thief of transactions

and of the true meaning of magic

rock’n roll summers followed

by rock’n roll Christmas

like rivers of dead polluted sharks

our little country town

a matter of two or three commercial streets

dropping down to the river

guarded by a redundant

military construction

an old man with no legs

got around there on a homemade sledge

he must have had a challenging life

to me he was something out

of a fairy tale or

an unfunny comic book

another inhabitant of that town at that time

was called Dai Split Nose

that’s all I knew of him

we lived in a house owned by a chapel

none of us knew that distant cousins

lay buried unmarried in a corner grave

around which my father pushed his lawn mower

visiting Ministers of Religion dined

in our home each Sunday

in a room reserved for that purpose

they ate alone in silence

while we had our family meal nearby

they were alien to me and a little forbidding

I wish now I had broken through my shyness

and intellectual and linguistic inferiority

to speak with them about the word of God

and how Methodism was faring in the early 1970s

the stone of chapels and their cemeteries

always rained upon or so I remember

where the sun set

I don’t recall my great grandmother

who died six years after my birth

though I remember playing

around her ancient one storey cottage

and in its orchard

I was distraught at losing

tiny blue US 7th Cavalry

toy soldiers among the crevasses

that were its cobbles

Henry Tudor had passed that way

a secret fort overgrown

the shock overthrow of the show

the soft defences of a country

that forgets its been invaded

its graves seen in the same view

as bales of hay wrapped

in their shining black plastic bag shrouds

when a target is not a target

I also don’t remember her daughter

who died when I was two

my mother missed her each day

of her remaining life

I missed her too

in the photographs she has a high forehead

she made her own clothes

including her wedding dress

my mother knitted my jumpers

until increasing income

and the widening reach of retail opportunities

made us less self-reliant

she sewed patches onto the worn knees

of my jeans creating

a peasant distressed look

that would later become fashionable

she spoke the intuitive Welsh

and the learned English of

the hollows and lanes that led to

Sunday schools and sermons

some of the words were highly localised

a language of those hedges

as were the ways of saying those words

and all other words

she’s leaning into you

the wide belt of her wedding dress

punctuating her tiny waist and that day

as you exult and fret over your triumph

and the rising sea level which will bring

coral which will invade the photo frame

the image slowly sucked away

by the salt of brine time and tears

my only surviving memory of  the day

my paternal grandmother died

is her daughter in law not wishing me

to watch that night’s episode

of World at War on TV

but being overruled by her husband

I was an unplanned first born

taken shortly after my ironic birth

to the Rhondda valley

to be introduced to the family

of my great grandfather

I threw up on my grandmother’s shoulder

such was my brand new life

and its direction

my parents did the best they could

beset by doubt and lack of resources

in a landscape of linoleum

and used cars

and everything changing

all the time for people

unused to such a pace

of transformation

in my father’s car

my sister and I in the back

faces behind glass

we didn’t go far

relatives and graves

and orthodontists

a sneak view of the rises

the dips

the possibilities

the impossibilities

piggy back

bubble cars

and Hillman Imps

Esso Blue and

Green Shield stamps

those times I thought about the universe

how big it might be

how it neighboured another universe

how big that might be

how the neighbouring universe

bordered on yet another cosmos

how big they all could be

and so on

my head ached

world without end

one night as I lay in bed

I observed a shape

emerge from the carpet

growing until it became

a narrow black triangle

about the height of a man

in the street light dark

was this the Devil we had been promised

or just my overactive childish imagination?

I sneeze

what escapes?

a sneeze that’s all

my best friend and I bemoaned

the lack of homegrown serial killers

I read a book on Manson

during a thunderstorm

we got our wish

the Vietnam War

the PLO

the IRA

Baader-Meinhof

the Angry Brigade

Brady and Hindley

Zodiac Killer

The Daleks

The Sweeney

take your pick

my pet dead lacewing

surveyed through inert eyes

the end of the century

of massive killing

and felt fine

last night I dreamed my wife and I

were having dinner with friends

in the valley where I was brought up

I was distracted glancing

in the direction of the coast

a volcano had erupted on the estuary

my father appeared and we discussed

this occurrence

this may have been influenced

by reading reports of people who had lived

on the escarpment to the east of that valley

seeing the glow of Swansea

following a Luftwaffe night bombing raid

two counties away

I longed to watch two trains

racing each other

yes two trains

on equal lengths of track

on equal rate of incline

with evenly-powered engines

a contradiction of the principles

of public transport

I had never seen one due to

the effects of the first Government

cutbacks of my lifetime

but this was my very own Roman Emperor Syndrome

not Hornby

not British Rail

not Beeching

but always on time

or ahead of it

a castle town again and again

I am on the sidelines

as others journey down

their memory lanes

an odd one out

the British Empire

still in our heads

somewhere somehow

in the backs of minds

though we don’t rule waves

no English Electric

superstar test pilots overhead

when we were thinner

the past as a different hue

tonight it's 70s pink and orange

the stain of an unknown stamen

the morning after

the sun revealed

hangovers of different levels

of discomfort

with martially inclined friends

I played at being soldiers

in the woods behind our school

I made a Sten gun

by nailing two straight lengths

of wood together into a right angle

this game was called “Armies”

some of us ended up in the Army

we dammed a stream with stones

mud grass and twigs

and broke these barriers

when we became bored with our handiwork

unaware that we were imitating

the rural monumentalism

of our principality

and the tactics of those

opposed to its existence

we were chased once

by cattle that we had antagonised

throwing stones at them

producing sparks from their hides

in the thickening twilight

made a spear of a stick

a small number of us grappled

with ideas of liberation

whatever we meant by that

I thought I was preparing for a war

with known and unknown adversaries

made a stick of a spear

the heart-squeezing soundtrack

of ice cream vans

remixed in some accidental ears

as ambulance sirens

I amassed a wealth in toys in

as plastic intervened

Fireball XL5

U Boat and Short Sunderland

Subbuteo

Scalextric

Cluedo

an old cricket bat I never used

Action Men

helping me learn how to fantasise

about decisive action

without ever taking it

Joe 90

Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons

The Champions

Garrison’s Gorillas

Tom Grattan’s War

Bonanza

Lassie

Stingray

Thunderbirds

after the Magic Roundabout

there was no need to be real

no need to grow up

Benny Hill

Jimmy Hill

Brian Moore

Dickie Davies

Billy Bremner

Harold Wilson

Ted Heath

Tiede Herrema

how men were

Raquel Welch

Sophia Loren

Brigitte Bardot

Ursula Andress

Jenny Lee-Wright

Caroline Munro

Ingrid Pitt

Madeline Smith

how women were

my first day in comprehensive school

sitting on the floor in a new building

a gym with new boys

I talk nervously

and earn a clout on the top of my head

from a shoe wielded by the games teacher

I am hurt shocked and a little embarrassed

by my first lesson in

how older males are violent towards

younger males

rugby

it’s a man’s world

he can keep it

some schoolboys accused their peers

of “not having enough spunk

to shag a mouse”

I lived in fear of earning that epithet

whatever it meant

and of the milk white girls

haughty

knowing

tormenting

those times when one is confused

by one’s gender

not knowing what to do

not liking what was expected

everyone looking the same

the long hair

the soft focus

the decline of hard labour

the deflection of draughts

we grew larger and more stupid

misunderstanding what expectations

Time would have of us

on the cusp of spring

becoming summer

of a language nearly changing

into another

the handover

from a safe pair of hands

to us

the light bulb people

the people light bulbs

the neon nowhere

empty vessels on an endless train

of other empty vessels

the rolling stock

the obsessed cocks

electrified trash but not fatally so

those mules

the workplace turned out to be a circus

conjoined with a black comedy

or an off-white tragicomedy

moving paperwork and people

from one end of the county

to the other and back again

from one under-rewarded circumstance

to the next

Pompous Dick presided there

with handbags for hands

and two glass eyes that saw

all they needed to see

a bag for a bag

he joked

I got it

I got it every time

this page has some issues

kill page

your call will be answered shortly

refer to supervisor

about:blank

OK

sensitively illuminate your anus

put it on the market

sell yourself as you have always done

as you have been obliged to do

for decades at a time if you’re lucky

a micro job in the zero hours economy

the golden age of useful employment

now foreclosed

I have been a wage slave

since 1981

my father toiled between

1953 and 2002

Arbeit macht frei

the promise of a better standard

of living with little thought

of achieving much else

so where are the Celtic warrior heroes?

are they amongst us in IED-proof vehicles

or entombed in slate

that awaits the quarryman’s swing?

would we recognise them if we saw them?

the line breakers

the berserkers

shock troops

unthink tank

think big

think

the lengths of their lines

their direction

where they point to

their alignments

the Druids will return in small boats

that are not coracles

with trails of elvers as wakes

when no one is looking

landing at the mouths of minor rivers

row upstream sometimes carrying

their vessels on their backs

that are not coracles

knowing when to nod

when to breathe

when to see

when to soar

knowing when to know

they say they can now print

a viable gun in 3D

can they print new homes?

hospitals?

sustainable energy?

a cure for all medical conditions?

the truth?

I thought I had more time

but forgot to remember

and remembered to forget









Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Bag for Life (Don't Sell Your Dreams)


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-01-01
Bag for Life (Don't Sell Your Dreams)

The fear of Christmas

of the retail hell we've made it

and dying in a giant

impersonal shop-hangar

wearing unclean underwear

after discovering that a product

one has just purchased

was cheaper elsewhere

the anxiety of missing out

on a bargain

of losing a receipt

of not finding a car parking space

the tyranny of opening and closing times

of time itself inching forward

unstoppably impudently

fretting about leaving items in hotel rooms

letting a fire go out

and not having funds

for unashamed continuous consumerism

worrying about saying the wrong thing

and forgetting acquaintances

before they forget about one

the disappointment of

not remembering any dream

the itchiness of being a member

of a minority population

of ignoring one's native language

apart when required for jingoistic purposes

the fear of not being as brave as the past

or as brave as fear

Posted in: Poetry | 3 comments

Out of Control


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-12-08

What you wish for is

not always careful

a glib handover

in an ambient Tiger tank

in shadows of oboes

on an European coastline

you know so well

a meaningful vote

devoid of much meaning

not the kind of leaving

you had in mind

when you let that paper

drop into the aperture

we’ve been mis-sold

overblown oligarchies

and demoralised democracies

so let’s invent pop up monarchies

and subvert history

as it is all made up

as it stumbles along

or at least that’s what

the fecklessness of many

of our leaders seems to suggest

and remember to schedule a tour

of our shiny new fiefdom

some time after we have

regained control of it

not that we ever had it

under our control

journey to the more neglected areas

whose road signs brightly herald

the contribution made

by the former partner

to the construction of those routes

linking these communities

to the prospect of a more civilizing life

though by then these may well

have been taken down

or fallen down

amid the amnesia often

reserved for the poor

ticking a box

shouting the loudest

and decrying those

who don’t share exactly

the same views  

doesn’t always deliver our wish lists

as our unity drip drip drips

into stalactite statues

in mothballed baggage reclaim halls

what we've packed

is what we've become

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Where Did I Put My Country? (Lullabies)


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-04-22

At a dinner party after about

a couple of glasses of Rioja

he spills out what he’s been thinking for some time

suggesting that everyone should return

to the place in which they had been born

his own birthplace approximately

436 metres from that table

according to Google Maps

eyebrows are raised

accompanied by upward glances

sighs and uncomfortable virtual jokes

about racism
 

he smiles

expecting these reactions  

he finishes his dessert

thanks the host

and leaves for home

301 metres away

a fortress mentality was how

a parliamentary committee

had described the current tactics

of his former department
 

he can see how this damning indictment

had been arrived at

even the U.N. was getting in on the act

in his day some of his colleagues

had seemed to be vengeful

seeing the impoverishment

of their clientele as being

the main event of their joyless days

he misses the days before the attack dogs

were let loose on the poor once again

the return of the witch trials

if he had proof that the Devil was observed

rising from Downing Street

he may contemplate re-enlisting

he is now lost so signs on

with The Ministry of Loss

which was getting smaller by the day

by the very nature of its existence

despite a steadily growing membership

he buys cheap gin goblets

from a budget foreign supermarket

and is enchanted by the bell sound

they make when brought together

in a modest semi pendular action

he fills them up

throws in some handy botanicals

drinks it down

like imbibing an alcoholic hedge

from a globe representing

a continent-less swirling world

it’s nearly Christmas though

it has been since the last one

at least he can forget for a short while

that many well established companies

feel obliged to make modern slavery statements

each Thursday he attends a workshop

for those debilitated by post traumatic

retail accompaniment stress disorder

the hours in shops waiting

for another to make a decision

keeping his hands in his pockets

ignoring the signs the smells the sounds

unnerved by showroom dummies

sometimes feeling that they could be moving

when just out of sight

some of them appearing to have been posed

in unrealistic human biological positions

grotesquely

still it beats working

although it is in its way a form of occupation

another usage of useless time

he gets asked to dance after he’s read his poems

says he’s got two left feet

then scurries back to his red wine

that he says is the blood of Christ

he talks to the audience about amnesia

which is useful or not

in a secular sermon dug from

the boggy corner of a fallow field

he’s currently enjoying films in which

mature men take on violent young thugs

maybe it’s his age

his vulnerability

maybe he feels that law and order

is breaking down

in the movies and on the streets

he enjoys Get Carter

Taxi Driver

and Bad Blood

a film he’s not seen for decades

he will try to locate it on

one of the streaming services

they didn’t find Suzy Lamplugh’s body

he used to think about her a lot

around the time of her disappearance

fancying her as the patois of his people would have it

because she was attractive

because she was even more elusive

than the beauties of his home town

because he lived to maintain an encyclopaedia

of admirable women in his head


he thinks that they should give up

on Madeleine McCann too

he says that the parents look wrong

and believes lower income families

would not have seen such expenditure allocated

to the search for their missing child

concentrate on the living

the dead have had their chance

no matter how constrained that was

the Government seems to be imploding

Black Friday

Ruby Tuesday

Blue Monday or Manic perhaps

Wednesday Week

Friday I'm in Love

worse than struggling football teams

fantasy political positions

from snow white rich old men in suits

not worth a bet

when he gets the shakes

he closes his eyes until

he is taken far from where he is

back to the early 1960s

the bars of a cot surround him

the first feeling of imprisonment

of being contained

being too safe

he's sleepy in this place too

riggings of snow grace the corners

of the sash window

a draught making him shudder with cold

his first encounter with winter

though he doesn't yet know what it is and does

his mother unseen sings quietly to him

something old

something of that locality

before the rest of the world

and its non stop jukebox

would roar into the family life

he wishes he had a horse and a gun

he is destroying his teeth

he can't stand the small polyps around his eyes

and thinks about taking a scissors to them

maybe he won’t look in a mirror again

he is pleased that his legs and lungs

carry him up slopes

and that he can still madly prick his lawn

with hundreds of visitations of a garden fork

life does not get much better than this

connecting with the earth

joined to the spinning planet

by reliable steel

sweaty and glad to use his body

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