Outrage demanded / But YOU got it right

I guess the only one of the three of you who 

Kinda expressed the thing 

I’d really been looking for – 

Though even here

I may be wrong, as with so many things 

I’ve been

Quite dreadfully pranged 

About the you 


Manifest aren’t – 

Then dearest Claire it’s you who most 

Clearly expressed and understood

The outrage I wanted properly 

Distressed, and

Addressed, by the people I once thought 

Did love me.

For Karen only ever accepted stuff,

In her finely wrought


She only ever expected me to


In fascinated 

Pride of injury and state;

Rank disability 

Assigned me by 

Those who wanted to 

Shut me 


As deep as I could see,

So the me I true was 

Might no longer be.

And – with frowns and eruptions of 

Angry silence[s] – my wife never quite 

Got this either: 

Whilst believing in a notion of talent onboard me

She also felt I invented far too many stories,

And that anything cruel and dastard 

And bastard was there to

Be ignored, not fought back 

At all!

But you, dear Claire, when speaking

To me

You actually did listen right.

You expressed in gentle ways an outrage

Sourced in feelings 

Of sympathetic disbelief.

And if I could recapture 

Any moment of happiness – however 

Wonderful they’d

Scene at the time –

It would not be on the 

Birth of gorgeous offspring; 

It would not be that Belfast 2004;

It would be –

Quite precisely and true –

The simple meal we shared

On glorious 


[Ed.] Bloomsday, when all we did

Was talk and smile

And trial out futures 

Which never 

Now can come to pass:

Futures which sit

In my soul and my heart 

And my mind and my cells 

And my thoughts and my trails of an





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