when she says she loves me

he says he loves her
and I ask again about her website
it’s just a way to make money, he says
it’s nothing
she’s smart – a business woman
a genius
her own boss

he says they’re going to get married on a beach
and run barefoot into the surf afterward
she’s the only one for him, he says

I ask again if he is sure
considering… you know… her

he says he knows how it looks
everyone’s been asking him the same thing
telling him to be careful
to watch out
she’ll break your heart, they keep saying

he drives on for a while, not talking
watching the yellow line in the road ahead

he says, the only way I can explain it
is in the words of a song:

“if you could only see the way
she loves me
then maybe you would understand
why I feel this way about
our love and what I must do”

I knew the song
it was big in the nineties
I couldn’t remember the name of the band
I still can’t

I joined in and sang along with him
as he drove

“if you could only see how blue
her eyes can be when she says
when she says she loves me”

she didn’t break his heart, in the end
not really, anyway

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another in a long line of failures

a man feels guilt
for his rage and words
which came as roars of infantile fury

a man sees himself not a man
and feels shame

a boy he is now
loose as dead leaves
which the breeze
plucks with lightest touch
to cast adrift

a boy hangs his head
kicking the sand at his toe
as though it will move the world
and undo the damage done

he looks to a girl
who is a woman
a goddess, queen and wolf-lord

she raged
of course, that’s what she does

a woman swells like a squall
to topple boats
and a boy became toppled so

he was not strong enough for her
he failed

Seven

When morning creeps, across the floor toes drag
And make a mockery of ev’ry step
The mirrored glass reflects two eyes that sag
And raises doubts as to how well they slept
Those liquored drinks that trickled smoothly down
Bar-tenders fed with ev’ry dollar spent
The raucous rush that swept them across town
Confusion as to where those women went
With fire in head and gut full of regret
With wallet feeling more than slightly light
One realizes now is paid the debt
From buying so much glee yesterday night
The solemn oath, now given loud and plain:
“I’ll never touch another drink again!”

musings upon her funeral dress

These garments are like a tightly packed row of
Hers
dehydrated, deflated and hung up front to back.
Each item was her in a mode, a mood, a moment
in time
each was chosen by her to reflect the parts of her
personality most vibrant and attractive in times
when she felt brave.
They all began as simply wares on sale,
sterile and lacking a history and association.
I wouldn’t give a care for any of them
although I might have found them
eye-catching because of their colour
but they would hardly stir inside me
any fondness, not on their own, not any moreso
than any configuration on display at
H&M or Winners or the lot,
slapped and stretched over
plastic, faceless mannequins.
These clothes here in her closet
they were no different:
they began on a mannequin, on a
plastic person with no soul or agenda,
just textiles and dye and thread,
stitched up, ironed and branded
by some company like Billabong
– she really liked Billabong,
even though she never cared for brands
and she certainly didn’t fit their target crowd
of surfers and boarders.
She never surfed in her life.
Now she never would.
Would never try and find out if she enjoyed it,
if she would master it,
incorporate it into her lifestyle.
Who knows?
Maybe, eventually, her hobbies would
reflect her favourite clothes.
I doubt it.
She wasn’t a surfer.
That’s not the point.
She could have been,
she had the option,
life still held that fate as possible.
It doesn’t now, that’s the point.
It does for me, though.
Maybe I should take up surfing.
For her.
What good would that do for her?
Really.
None.
She’s dead.

faces, voices, touches, memories

sometimes I wonder what ever became of them

the black girl that came from France
who had the skinniest ankles I’d ever seen
the brunette with the husky voice who fucked me in my van
she had a tattoo on her back of a butterfly and she wrote me a poem
the almost-virgin with the most perfectly tiny nipples
who screamed like my cock was a knife inside her
the one who bore my child
the one who used me as a way out of hell

the one who took my virginity in my parents’ bed on new year’s eve
I remember her in flashes of memory now
the way her perfume stung my lips when I kissed her neck
the way she said “no” while she told me not to stop
I remember the way she took me by the hand
or maybe I took her
and before I even knew my shirt was off
my pants were too

I think of it sometimes and wonder
whatever became of them all
the girl with the rad blue jeans that I loved in grade school
the one I asked to graduation dance and then accidentally stood up
they came into my life, all of them, without motive, agenda or reason
they left without goodbye
all I have are the memories
just shadows of dreams
just echoes on the breeze

regrets

the world is now below me
this world I leave behind
the land I leave is pretty, yes
but to it I am blind

I turn my back and walk
dare not take back a glance
I might just feel like staying
– I would, given the chance

the life I knew, I leave it
I pray it won’t return
all the pain back in the past
all those lessons learned

I want to just forget it
just up and let it go
I know I can’t forget it
it’s buried too damn low

I want to just release it
but I know that can’t be done
my past, my life, it’s there to stay
from the world I cannot run

my present life is with me now
and with it comes great song
but I know that I shall have regrets
which last my whole life long

regrets, you see, mistakes I’ve made
I cannot set them right
I cannot change the ways of time
to events before tonight

this poem isn’t working well
I’m writing it half assed
I feel no passion, feel no flame
as I have felt in the past