Tuesday, March 25, 2008

last night at nikki's

a buddha in a santa hat.
a guitar propped up
at the bottom of the bed.
a lot of photos in boxes
that she took out
and showed me.
sleeping in my clothes
when she didn’t want sex.
her window in the morning
on the cold, cold road.
hungover and smelly,
too sick to chance
an arctic dip in the bath.
coffee as the day broke,
listening to her mate’s
shitty music downstairs.
not wanting to leave, but
knowing something was different.
last night at nikki’s.
i just shoulda gone home.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


i see a picture on the internet:
ipswich town winning the f.a.cup
at wembley in 1976.

and i think, my grandad freddie garnham
is sitting in the crowd somewhere
behind mick mills, who holds the cup aloft.

he’d been to every game at portman road
for thirty years, maybe even more.
in the fifties he had known the players
(that was when their wages weren’t much better
than the blokes who worked at ransome’s like fred did).

wembley was the culmination
of ipswich’s slow climb through the leagues,
the reward for grandad’s dogged faith in them.

he filled a scrapbook with cuttings of the run
and gave it to me. took me to the ground
and showed me where he stood each week

to watch the tractor boys tame the opposition.
it was just behind the goal, in the corner.
that was when supporters were allowed to stand.

at wembley freddie sat--my gran was there--
and watched a team of heroes lift the cup.
the picture shows the sky was blue that day.

in his last year freddie didn’t go to games.
ipswich were crashing down through the league,
heading back toward division two.

"they can lose," he told me. he was short of breath.
"but i’m ashamed an ipswich team is giving up."

we suffolk boys were meant to fight like dogs.
my grandad wallpapered his entire house
a few weeks before the ulcers took him.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

first date/ last date

she sd., why don't you get a haircut?
that past-the-shoulder look
just don't go in the noughties.

i sd., i am a traveller
from nineteen sixty-eight.
i'm going down to woodstock
when i've done my business here.

she sd., where's woodstock?

i sd., it's outside oxford.
don't you read "inspector morse"?

she sd., oh! that used to be on telly,
with that bloke from "the sweeney".

yes, dennis waterman, i sd.,
pushing my glass across the table.

she sd., i see it's my round!

i sd., bright as well as pretty.

but can you get them in, she sd.
if i don't go to the toilet soon,
i'm gonna pee my fucking pants.