Shoes stack up like promises in the closet.

I wonder how some of these ever fit me.

Must be a time to cast away stones:

And so that’s how I came to be here,

Bag of old rag and me by the street corner

Figuring how best to obey the road rules

As I wait for this natty red roadster

To figure out what the fuck it’s doing.

Whatever you do, mad little bag lady,

Don’t act the Tarot card you resemble,

Fool and his knapsack. We don’t hunch,

Not like it was when I was teenaged

And all chin and shoulders, Quasimodo’ing

My invisible way across danger and out of it.

No no. Be a man. Stick out your shoulders,

Pretend those tits are pecs, pecs, dammit,

Muscular motherfucking Hercules

In a leather cuirass, pumped up with steroids

Till he looks like Page Three.

Stand with your hips wide, too, let them see

The nothingness that is somethingness,

At least in your mind’s eye, down in

The trouser parts. Oh he’s gonna notice you,

Dressed like Ronald McDonald and Santa’s

Crazed delinquent love child, sack of boots

Slung and ready to deal out Krampus style

Thrashings on his bumper if he doesn’t.

And what if the trick fails? What if he sees

Right through your motley and goes, hey,

Wait, this isn’t Loki trying on new names,

It’s just some bitch trying to out-butch me;

Well what then. We wait, as we always wait,

To let the fools pass us, till we can carry on

With slow steps, towards a place where

We can let down all our burdens.




she jumps in like the last line of a haiku

felling every stroke of wheat before her

that I had painted so carefully across my landscape

swift as the wind from the mountain

that dervishes hot and dry in the streets

playing with leaves like she plays with my heart

clumsily but with such panache

that I forgive her and will do so

each time spring rolls round

she knocks

like the rhombic edge of my knee

against the underside of the chessboard

dashing all the squares from their places

with one impetuous diagonal

she is forked lightning when she flashes

one nipple at me in the middle of the railway station

while a hundred backpackers

heap up their prayers in soft cairns

she winks in and out of view

like one side of a spinning penny

heads she loves me tails she’s gone

a world away

she flicks me on my edge and sets me spinning

spinning and shining