As usual, the ceremony began with coffee and mockery
of each other ‘s penmanship when we pulled out our notepads.
You said I scratched my ditties in “Sanskrit;”
and I always accused you of recording your waking wet dreams
With us, it was always a study in pretense, wasn’t it?
I still think it a precursory cruelty, our preferred bistro being full
that evening. Very unusual.
Never before had we walked in to find all booths and tables taken;
that’s why we liked it: the sparse patronage; near absolute quiet,
if not for the kitchen emissions and the shuffling feet of the silvery waitresses.
It was the suggestion of coming in off the streets of Atlanta, straight for Abaddon, for a repast before the send off.
But that evening, as if the stiffs had come back to snack,
we got our java and took to the side alley where there were
crate seats and sufficient light for us to continue the ritual.
This is a request to a shattered mirror: whatever reflections
you could give me now, please.
I’m running on filthy, and I’m trying to pull off a garden of redeemed daemons atop the wreckage of the writer I used to be.
In you I believed I’d found an antidote to bad endings;
sure, I had a knack for hook-shape intros, but what good were
they without a fillet knife finale to get to the bare bones of any
I had the one, you had the other-
we were alpha and omega and between us we had a hope for
a Moby of a breakthrough.
Then, Vegas in homage to Hunt…
…I can’t figure; did our ritual summon him-
Saint Saturday Night Special?
I had a notion to begin with a modern day rogue; you had
the ending: ‘Kid, we’re just hip shits and you don’t wanna step in
us. What cash we had we’re sipping now, so this ain’t worth a trip
The kid ‘s answer was, of course, well calibrated enough
for a finish. Yours.
You, me, and Saint Saturday- we came up with a story, surely;
Another joint now, other side of Atlanta.
I was absolutely quiet during recovery;
they caught Saturday by the day after,
and I fished him out of the mug shots they brought me
with fresh coffee. -Shit!
I bury my silence in this chophouse shiva,
and chant aloud till the stiffs tell me to hush.
walkin to bob dylan. halcyon gallery. art. we walk & walk. we walk & we walk. eventual to be told yes this is still london
– its a nice frame
– this is a good deal
– yr gettin a nice price & a very nice frame thrown in
– were the ones losin out to yu
– i’m sorry?
– post-brexit. exchange rates. we’re the ones losin. out
– it is a very nice frame
some painting titles
tribute to barb(ed) wire
& so down to dylans metal
here castin incredible shadow
go ask sales assistant
how much for this shadow?
yesterday queues for tube-lift. crowd in shuffle forward. in fill & ascend. so shuffle-us on. lass ahead glues to screen shuffle-doorway. smartphone & in screenglow she (bare) stands buffeted by open – close doors. open close she is buffet. open close open – she is buffet. & the voice-over please do not obstruct doors. please do not obstruct. please. vid ends she pushes door / way / out
some more painting titles
ban(ne)d new leopard skinned, pill-box fat
tributary ov barb wire
grit meet oyster
where (some) wor(l)ds end
It’s hard to watch the news
It’s petty and pathetic.
It’s sad to even watch it.
Murder, greed, maliciousness,
Accusations and denials,
Trials and tribulations,
A world on fire,
Far beyond its need.
Attempts to improve nature,
Creating different seed,
Never meant to be…
Is there more to be gained
By trade or war?
We will find out,
The fair amanuensis rendered me
all blinking, knocking against
her angles and lines. Dark, a tar
of iron light, bled away the redder
of posy on her skirt like bits of
mad confetti, sowing rust through
my brain’s cool throat. Here, where
her two clever legs swung open
the calm to the ocean, I cast out to
quilted hills and delicate moon
while organisms kindling inside and
needing. Because the flesh frothed
on the brink of blown dune, she
spared me the tender aches nestled
resplendent in muscle; instead
her fingers as they lay in the palm
of my hand, pressed to the envy of
a lake, carving her initial all the way
to my sea.
I bow my head and scuff my sneakers along the autumn damp asphalt
Blowing plumes of spectral-like smoke as I meander miserably by
I stood smoking outside of your house
Peering through trees at the curtained window
Where behind I fumbled inebriated in your bed
And chased you onto the frosted floor
I can’t help but wonder how attractive your little sister must be by now
Well someone has to answer my curtain call
Upon the sidewalk I’m dissipating into the orange glow of the streetlamp
Ghostly remnants reminiscing to when you showed him your dirty underwear
While I just sat and stared helplessly
A hapless boy not hitting a home run
Now I’m fleeing from wedding receptions
And making worthless vows yearning for somewhere fictional
If the words are worth the wasted breath
I think I smoke too little, and think too much
My best friend is a pen that I can’t even hold in the right hand
I woulda been a babe, a real dollface
hot mamma whose dish could sink ships to place
a sailor in my path…and he’d take me
to make whoopee, blow his horn and fill me
full of giggle-juice, thinking, What a dame!
No gold-digging on my mind just a swell
night to knacker the peepers in snazzy
style – time off rot-gut booze in beat clip-joints.
I woulda been a contender; aces
in this corner, sneaky keen to rise to
cool-cat; I’d be where it’s at – no kiss-off
for this looker. I’d be, Look at me Ma, top of the world…Patsy done good so don’t blow your wig ‘cause I’ll be home late tonight.
Drunk, nude, loud, absolutely nothing wrong, I am about to – in my fist underwater – come, when the cops come. Neighbors bitched about my off-key karaoke of Key’s anthem? I habitually belt patriotic stuff when stuffing my head with fuck.
Half-a-dozen officers out of their vehicles pile: “Hold it!”
“I am!” I grunt, assuming all know God forgives all sins save thwarting a climax.
They draw weapons. Ring the pool. Balk at wading in for the pinch.
“Place your hands on top of your head – walk out slowly backwards!”
“Which way,” I gasp, going obstreperously about my business, “is backwards?”
The cops, stumped, quiver on the edge. Till my orgasm retches shrieks breaking windows and bursting doors in a three-block radius, and the cops, scared shitless, unload their pieces.
My last sight a large (if I do say so myself) load dispersing langorously, while I am sent, through chlorine fish scent, toward the next dream of escaping, by the dawn’s early light, the law of no deposit, no return.
Willie Smith’s poems and stories have appeared in the toilet, the recycling, the gutter and in his worst nightmares. He is a retired office boy living off, in the form of a dubiously-deserved pension, the taxpayer.
It was rhetorical, of course you’ve got one…
but, where the fuck is she?
I’d never let you outta my sight if you were mine,
you handsome muthafucking bastard!
Seriously though, if you need to talk about it?
I’m just here, kay… I’m gonna be yer best friend, ever.
Whoops! slight frontal beer-spill,
Oi! Don’t laugh, I wasn’t showing you my arse…
but, seeing as it’s already in the conversation…
feel ‘That’, go on, prod it, it won’t bite, much…
that’s ‘phetamine that is, crack fucking walnuts with it.
I’m going to the kitchen to get another beer
and fix my Slap, now that I’ve finally got yer attention,
all the mirrors in here are manky as fuck.
You want another can? How ‘bout a sandwich?
I make the best sandwiches in the world, I swear.
Blowjob, sure thing, but not in front of yer mates,
you know, just in case this develops, honey.
Eh? Oh, Budweiser, Ha-ha too funny…
I know they don’t sound anything like each other
‘Freudian’ and ‘Slip’ are my middle names.
Right, be back in two ticks, I just love it here,
I can’t believe that I’m actually talking to you
all proper and not through a fucking letterbox for a change.