I remember your fondness for Cow Pie with horns intact,

for gruff interventions, plus

The pillow of his (reinforced) bed is filled with building rubble,

and his beard so tough he shaves with a blowtorch.’


as Wikipedia reminds us. Using

a crane to fish, a chisel on your chin.

What kind of example was that to a fatherless boy?

Anyway, how did you get to be like this? What fucked-up

one-horse swamp spawned you, Desperate?

Made you so powerlessly strong

and wrong-headed? So brutally tender and

hopeless? Such a big soppy dope, boasting

about one-handed cow wrestling and brick saloons

lifted right out of the choking street

into the hot wind blowing from the west?

Eating. Huge mounds of fish and chips

six or seven battered fish poking out of the steaming heaps,

and me hungry for the 4-pence

to buy some round the corner

from the YMCA. You gave me permission

to be follow my greed west and out into the badlands,

far as I could get. At thirteen- yes that’s me –

skewing into the swimming pool that hangs like flab

from the edge of Anglesea at Menai Bridge.

I’m the swaying mound of flesh and fleshy

breasts about to plunge. I remember the summer gale and the shame

roaring down the clouded strait.

I blame you, and your mates

in Dundee for the shape I’m in, piling it on,

like a big, wet dust-ball skidding along the empty main street of nowheresville into a funeral director’s open door

on the corner, straight through and out the back

towards the distant hills of somewhere sleeker,