One of those unconvincing, nothing days.

I don’t believe a word I say.

Even my pauses ring hollow.

I’ll change my mind,
after all,
and ride out with the King of Bile at dawn
to ransack the neighbors’ septic tank
for the fun of it.

Like Mr Cooper, who collapsed
(on Cooper’s Hill)
cleansing our sewer,
and he blamed us for
the dope we smoked
and the lies and stained carpets and hair
we lived amidst
while, he said,
pretending to be normally
civilized, with good references,
and the ‘A’ levels as well. It’s true
that Andrew was chased
down the lane by a matchbox,
and I called the doctor
after I’d eaten a bowl of best black,
and Liz threw a brown cup
at my head because I was arrogant
and she hated the cup,
and come to think of it,
I’d amuse myself on Saturday mornings
trying to deconvert Witnesses
from their fertile maps of Moses’ comings
and goings at some distant time away
before the rent was due
and friends were coming down from Norfolk,
that mad, sad place
to openly piss on the lower lane
and girls as well
when we went for a walk
on that day whose dark
found me spilling a thick bag of amphetamines
all over the pub floor in Cheltenham
and I couldn’t stop screaming laughing
and my mates threw me out
onto the Old Bath Road
so I walked up Leckhampton Hill
in the dark and found fistfuls of glow worms
bleating so much light and magic
into my various brains
that for weeks I could only speak
like a glow worm, a glow worn down
on that never-again amphetamines
and that sweet porridge my love
would make to throw at me
in bed if I didn’t shut up and make some sense,
or sex or something with love in it;
if I didn’t convince her
that I was worth the effort
to butter up the Coopers
into letting us stay one more month
until the baby came
and we could get back to being ourselves
the two of us, and the new one
who would probably look after herself
with a little bit of a hand from us
when we were able.

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