Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Things I Leave Behind Part Two

The Things I leave Behind Pt.2 (of 3)

You are well balanced;
The chip on your shoulder
Balances nicely with the shrew
In your heart.

I was stood in a bus stop
As you walked by on
The other side of Buckfast
And Thunderbird.

You are a figure of self import,
I don’t think beyond the mythical
Camaraderie of poetry
We would give each other
The time of day.

Your cartoon coat
And brilliance, reflects
Like sun on the North Sea.
What awe? Some awe.

We spent some time
Talking about you
And the rest of the time
You listened to what
I thought about you.

You are writing about stars
In the bookshop built of words
All the telescopes aimed precisely.

You clutched my hand
Unexpectedly, between poems
When I asked, why?
You said, I felt suddenly close.

I asked you for a coffee
You said, I am married,
I didn’t know coffee
Held such intrigue.

You had one bare foot
When I gave you the printer,
Your flat has a toilet
With a runway.
I bump into you on
The pavement outside of
The Truva Café and you teach
Me a new word. ‘Tardigrade’
You are a sweet tenor bull of a man.

They were talking about you
And not being kind.
I wondered what you would say
If you knew I defended you.
You being so defensive.

I don’t forget what was said
Or you saying it.
The mean always mean
What they say.

You kissed me on the cheek
Just before stabbing me in the back
In a two for one offer.

How do you cope with all this?
You said,
All what? I said.
This! THIS! you repeated
Encompassing existence.

We circle each other,
Sparring verbally
But you understand
I am not really interested
In the cuts we make.

I wouldn’t mind if you were my Dad
You said,
And I thought about
The logistics of that.

A good man with politics
In his head and blood and bones
And heart and life,
The old left, the only left
Worth squat.

Don’t leave, you never know what might happen
You said but I never understood what you meant.
Maybe you could have just asked for yourself.

 You bought me a shit-load of drinks
One night, wrote my favourite attack
On coca cola. You dervish through life
With your sense of romance and weed.

Quieter than an introvert mouse
You nibble at the bread of poetry
Leave soft footprints in my flour.

I often wondered about you
And thought about calling
But it was late
And all my credits with you
Were gone.

I don’t really know
Except for the fact
Of your astonishing
Hard won prose. I like
It when you say my name.

You were so vain
You liked the fact my hair was grey
Even though you dyed yours
And denied it. What kind of
Person does that?

I was sitting in a café
Watching you shelter under
An umbrella in Morningside,
The rain made you into a watercolour.
You smile even when alone.

On an Edinburgh street
All bubbled with setts
You were waiting to be
Admired or recognised
And failing on both counts.

When your mask slips
It shows why you wear it so often.
Nothing under it but fear.

These are the things I carry away
And leave behind and carry away.

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