from Woodstock to Laurel Canyon

from east to west and in between
I stared into many faces
held motel towels against my own
until my eyes bled sunsets

and my head hurt like the road

the beat of the day tormented me
I cried under many rocks
made outlines of my feet in the desert sand
until my skin burned

and my heart burst into years

you are the movie of your life
at least that’s what the people said to me
from Woodstock to Laurel Canyon
I painted away the fallen leaves

until the weather broke

until the seasons spoke to me
of car crash ditches full of fallen friends
where the blood ran to the sea
time frozen in a standing ovation

as we went our separate ways

Meeting Rimbaud

When I met Rimbaud
the bastard didn’t recognise me
I’m only the greatest living poet I said
Fuck off he huffed back in French 
or Arabic or some long forgotten
East African dialect 
I’m only the greatest dead poet 
don’t you know it
and he went on to accuse me
Yes me! Me!
of not being influential like him
reeling off a whole list of names
such as Dylan, Morrison, 
Ginsberg, Patti Smith
even Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls
I pointed out that influence was a by-product
of our own values and not necessarily
an indicator of true merit . . .
he looked at me vacantly 
with washed-up and scummy eyes
(not much dissimilar to my own
déshabillé state of mind)
Him a dead poet turned dead gun runner
Me a dead ringer for a doppelgänger
Perhaps we had more in common
than we cared to recognise
although I had no intention of playing
the dead Verlaine to appease any
modern day symbolism . . .

she took my hand

she took my hand and folded it
and turned her back and split
the rain was deceiving
as she was done leaving
but she never looked back

no, she never looked back
she never looked back

why she went and done that
we could have worked it out
the ring on her finger
that did not linger
coz she gave it me straight back

yes, she gave it straight back
she gave it straight back

I watched her turn the corner
she drifted out of sight
if I was much younger
I’d probably be up for the fight
but it just wasn’t right

no, it just wasn’t right
it just wasn’t right

so now I’m all alone
the leaves have all but blown
the wind has done moaning
and there’s no-one on the phone
only me on my own

yes, she never looked back
now I’m here on my own