Early on the 13th
I heard the church bells down the street
I saw a reflection in my lover’s eyes
I caught the sun breaking through the curtains.
I thought of dedications and declarations
Hymns and poetry and movements like wine or ivy
All short enough to ensnare attention.
And I wondered if I’d found balance
Or if I’d stray like abstracts or jazz,
If I lit down in a country of romance
Would I meander like a fickle tourist?
Things crowded my mind
Early on the 13th.
Propulsion, speed, Opera
Bowling down the road in sleepless coattails
And the same gloves you slept in –
What a gorilla, devoid of inspiration
Wallowing in howling sin, desperate as a star
Ready to supernova. Arrested for jaywalking
And screaming at the police for offences
Mismanaged. Work in the morning,
Sad wailing musical pipe dream romance –
Stale coffee. Dreams written as tattoos.
Every eye is on you like Apollo: a crumbling obelisk
Cursing to the dirt, asking the earth
“Why aren’t I rich yet?” – Some kind of prayer.
It’s an aspiration,
Nay! A dream!
To destroy a hotel room
While my body is as weak as a guitar string
Left on a guitar by an 80 year old
Farmer who’s seen everything before.
But, unlike him, I’ll be dancing
Gyrating like sin, singing and drinking
(Attempting to do both at the same time)
Ready to interview a Mancunian upstart
With a fringe
And a paisley shirt
But the guy will have to call me and not give up
Because I guarantee I’ll be passed out
You light my heart like an opportunity
That I let pass by me in the street;
An excitement, like rushing rivers through my veins
Or a hand promising everything for nothing.
And I see you in the moon when it’s late
And the last bus is leaving.
To me you are everything I wanted.
You stand there on another plain
And I wonder: if I held you would it be enough
To burn away the storm that is currently
Falling on me?
Lingering late night warm and lonesome
Catching smoke between the trees.
Taxi’s wait in the dark. Some people stand
Looking down the road with worry;
Others just pass them by.
Listening to the Replacements
Catching the bus
On blue winter evenings.
I wander if there’s a fire burning
Beyond the horizon,
And if it’s worth breaking away
With no plan
Lost in the vain determination
I’m waiting for fate to hand me what I want
Because to go out and grab it shakes me to grey
And I retreat. I want to wake early, before the world;
Get the bus, work. I want to write the feeling
Of changing seasons, that which excites
And fills the air with sweet leaves falling.
I want to know the names of streets
And follow them like a natural dance
Not having to look forward in a white shirt and tie.
And I want to rock and roll – but to write is to
Be safe. And that’s easier.
Thank god Belle and Sebastian came along
To save Smiths fans in English classes in the 90’s
With sexual confusion and Nick Drake jangle
Pop fusion. What is it about wispy words and
Shambolic melodies of silvery pop, like carp
In a pond, that makes the heart start like
Kerouac’s car in a book not yet read?
It’s like the rain in Cambridge, or sun in Oxford
Where Wilde is king of the homesick
And the music pours like a quick gold fix of Shakespeare.
Plaid skirts and small cars on muddy lanes
And coffee dates under grey skies with scattered planes,
She’s got hair like Tina Weymouth, she writes in French,
Her eyes are a deep brown. She speaks like jazz,
Or a Mancunian in the slums. Her mother’s a nurse.
Goddamn, I’m in love. Time to Tipp-Ex those lines of
Cynicism that flow like waves in my notebook.
I want to be lazy, like an old string
On a rusted guitar or a prophet
Lounging in the Spanish sun. It would be nice
To have a clear mind, like a cat on the street –
But Coffee and inspiration makes me shake
And I can feel the weeping in my chest,
Like a Robin on the washing line.
Never mind existentialism – that doesn’t cut it,
My body is whole and wild and I imagine excess
And decadent days in which to waste away.
And then I write about them.
On this afternoon the city exhaled and
Allowed the blue to linger far beyond the
Usual yellowing of the deep night. There were
Streams of people all passing me by, going
In the opposite direction like the pale wisps
Of clouds that swam above me. I walked like a
Dance, haphazard and unbound and people
Had already started getting drunk. Some complained,
Some were Dickensian in cold hotel doorways –
Women like swans with their heads bowed
Trying to get from A to B. All this in artifice
And I hear the unrestrained hum of evening life
Being lived perfectly by so many.