Someone

We reach for each other & miss
We reach for someone’s hands
Someone reaches for our hands
But there’s too much space
and we miss

I’m driving home to my bed
The lights are red again The cars
on the other road
can go, but I can’t
I have to wait

I hate this city
where friends sleep
at opposite ends of the freeways
If this were Europe we would be sleeping so far apart that we would not
be in the same country

We reach for each other & miss

And it’s not that you are not the person I thought
you were   You are exactly
the person I thought you were
But I am not the person
I thought I was
I am seeing who I am

I don’t want you to change
I want you to see who you are
I want you to be
the man that you could be
I want you all to be
the men that you could be
The men that you should be
I want you to go
through the fire and ice of the rites of passage

All the boys   I said to ACR She said
ACR said
You want to go to bed with someone
I didn’t know what to say She said
Not just sex Love
Intimacy   I said Yeah that’s right
I want someone
like me
that I can talk to Someone
that reads the text
& doesn’t just look
at the pictures

You
could
come up beside me & put your arm around me & I could lean my head
on your shoulder but it wouldn’t be real would it? It wouldn’t be real You
would just be playing You’re always just playing Nothing is ever real
because you
are afraid
of that

and I’m afraid too
but
I’m not
gonna let it stop me
from being real
any more

There goes a cab
A black cab
with its light on
and no-one in it
Just the driver

Familiar

I am the cat who walks by himself
and all things are alike to me.
— Rudyard Kipling

I can’t imagine owning
a dog. He’s forever
a child: big eyes
looking up, ball dropped

at my feet, panting
drooling tongue, dirty paws
on my jeans, howling and whining
when I go to work.

I can imagine having
a cat. Not a pet. A familiar,
walking by himself
on the catly way.

     Sure
     we’ll let you
     but only if we want it
     You can’t seduce us unless we want
     to be seduced
     You can’t trick or sedate us into it

     But once we let you
     we let you
     without embarrassment
     We yowl our longing
     purr our bliss
     without shame

     And when we’ve had
     enough of your attentions
     or you’ve had enough of ours
     we turn away calm
     to our catly business
     leaving you to yours

On the back verandah
of my soul, where love
and aesthetics meet,
there’s a cat.

He’s not a tame indoor cat,
a felis suburbiensis,
spraying on his Lynx
at the weekends.

My cat’s a wild one,
difficult to love.
Feeding him won’t do it.
He’d rather hunt.

The fur’s lush
around his ragged ears
but his teeth are daggers
and his tongue’s rough.

How shall I earn
the love of this wicked
cat? In which patch of sunshine
shall I find him?

We don’t find them. They
come to us. But perhaps
I should go
to the Jellicle Ball.

A man

Today I am the CEO
of the coal-fired power station

and they want to shut it down
There are thousands of them shouting

To heal the earth they say
we need clean renewable energy, and they are right.

But I am so afraid.

When I was a child they said
you have to get a job
If you don’t have a job you’re not a man
Not part of our society
You can’t be in the tribe
without a job

So I went to university
I studied every night — it wasn’t easy
I became an engineer
I built this plant
My family were proud of me
And when my father passed away
I paid for a fine funeral. I’m so afraid.

What will happen to my family?
My wife, our kids, their babies?
All these people who look up to me?
And what about my friends? Will I have no friends
in your new world?

Today I am the CEO
of the coal-fired power station

and they want to shut it down
There are thousands of them shouting

To heal the earth they say
we need clean renewable energy, and they are right.

But this work is my identity
This money, my identity
This image, my identity
They want to take away my identity.

I’m so afraid.