Friday, 10 September 2010

Poem: Seven Years (For R.B)

It’d been seven years
Seven fucking years
And between when you left and came back
There’d been flirtations with meeting up
Quick snatched chats on MSN
But I thought, nah, this is the end
Another friendship gone
Time to move on
Because anything rooted in rootless nostalgia
Is doomed from the start
All sugar and violins
With no muscle or heart
And I remember the afternoon of your depart
Your eyes
Glued to the train window
Shot through
With a sad bulging and blue
And I imagine
The ticket back to the States
Wet from sweat in your hand
And we all waved
Stood there, waved and waved
The painful awkwardness saved
By your train pulling away
With an ugly metallic creek

Over the seven years
Seven fucking years
I get little trickles of shifts in your life
Through friends and friends of friends
You’ve got a long term boyfriend
Then a fiancée
Then you’re pregnant
Then you’re married
The baby’s called Liam
(And I'm slightly annoyed he isn't called Captain)

These all arrive as tiny muffled bombs
That I defuse in the margins of my brain
Because I've got nothing but disdain
For that kind of way
All paid up
Cuddy and settled
Tagged with sickening pet names
Like “monkey” and “petal”
And just the words “coffee morning”
Dissolve my mettle
Make me want to take a shitload of pills
And have me running, raving, screaming for the hills
A shell devoid of thrills
That's exactly what they want

You, blunted at the edges
Viewing existence as tiny steps
An insistence on living life like a pet
Kept in line
Like stopped clocks kidded into thinking
They’re still keeping time
Because I hear you’re serving coffee at Costa
And I think it’ll cost ya
Your whole future
And I’ve got images of you serving lattes to dickheads
With a sweaty forehead
And a forced smile
And I think you’re worth more
Than a billion how are yous
Would you like anything elses
And thankyous

But I’m still struggling for independence
Still trying to fit the pieces together
Still a bit naïve
Still trying to make sense
Still dressing like a teenager
Still talking like Peter Pan just tripped over Chomsky
But the rent's piling on
And HSBC still have me by the balls
Still too often making that pathetic phone call:
“Alright Mum, can I borrow some money?”
And I have the nerve
To think of your life being gift wrapped
but who's the one who's really trapped?

Seven years
Seven fucking years
And I admit
I was originally tempted down to meet you
By the promise of free food and booze at Wagamama’s
Because our friend works there
And I’m fucking skint
I see you
And become a mess of garbled words
Waterlogged with clichés
Because you’ve got that same bounce
Same glow
Same shine
And you hug me and it still feels like a billion pillows
But really though
As we chat I feel all the stitches I sowed undo
Because you talk about all the waiting you've had to do
That love for someone else sometimes holds you back
And I realise that a lack of compromise
Sometimes leaves you stranded, empty handed
On an island of your own making

I’m lucky enough not to have wait a single second
Lucky enough not to have reality really beckon
No babies, no marriage
No responsibility
Time to sit around and talk punk rock, veganism and anarchy
Life frozen
Posing for action
Hands out for the catching
Ratching it up
So still but so assured...
But that's time that most people can’t afford
I remember the cut of a cord
And think of my mum:
She was moored with two growing boys on her own
Maybe it’s not what she really wanted
But people get older and some things fall out of range
Their parameters change
Stupid real life gets in the way
Missed opportunities
Missed hopes
Missed dreams
Sit on the waiting pile
A mile from our concerns
Feeling the breath on the back of your neck from your boss
And sometimes it's best to just burn your losses

And I'm no a hippy
I'm not saying go with the flow
Camp in a field, rub some stones
And get rid of your negative energy
Or any of that shite
And I'm not saying some things aren't worth the fight
But just for a moment respect that
Sometimes free will is a luxury
And reflect on the fact that
Choices aren't always right
And just when you think you've got
Your shit down tight
The ceiling might just cave in
And with all your might
You've got to scramble out
To reach the daylight

Sitting still
Doing nothing but reading
And rambling
Is never a gamble
Never a risk
But putting your life on hold for someone that you love
Putting your life on the line for something you believe
To look at the explosion straight in the eye with a blackened face
That takes balls

She dusts her bleeding knees off after every fall
And still keeps going
With her, there's no “shouldn'ts” no “can'ts”
And she taught me what it really means
To take a chance.

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