MEN } also { TALK

I spoke today with a colleague, a man who’s become

my friend.

We buy each other stuff and food,


when we can, and have the time.


We work together, having a good laugh.

It’s cool to know he’s successful

in love.

I tell him exactly how in my life

up to now,

four women have roundly rejected

my being

and my seeing

and my way of doing happy.


For the

four women who’ve so soundly gone and hurt me

I have never been the kind of man

enough for them to want to stay about.

And so when I told him,

he described a place in Liverpool,

where – sure as hell! –

he’s made four real friends who become

the kind of good friends

you want of a kind woman in everything.


It’s a place called “Coopers Town House”,

and it’s just the place

for a man of my age

to meet a woman who might like

the kind of things

the other women clearly haven’t

(at least not the four

I have


the balding up top;

the belly quite pot;

the weird way of thinking;

the strange way to talk.


I don’t want to live with the wife

who just controls

my soul and heart:

I only want to laugh and cry –

and occasionally die – in a good woman’s arms.


And so my dear friend does recommend “Coopers

Town House”

as the place he would go to make out.


And so as all my attempts have utterly failed

to connect with

the women who made me think –

wrong – that love

could be had for the two of us


so it is time I was real –

and just went for a cuddle in gentle

public house, in the muddle

that is obviously

to be my fate.


Too late it is now for me to love as I wish.

Too late it is now to be happy.


And so on Tuesday this week, after madly hard-won study,

I shall mosey along to “Coopers Town House”.

And maybe in its walls

of friendly containment

I shall meet some good woman who, despite all my

fails, will not treat me quite as

the four women

who – even this lately –

have rejected me all my life, and made of my idea of love

something so pained.


I am lonely as hell, and

I attract women unwell,

and I’m unclear why this happens:

but I do wish it would stop.


And so it’s time to goodbye

the women of my past.

It’s time to meet someone quite new.

And so it began to CLARIFY …

And so it began to clarify itself –

like some chemical mixing-



of a residue

quite out of date.


It stretched much further back

than anyone could think.

And as the stink got bigger,

and as the cruelty grew,

and as more people around you

could discern

the truth,

so the need to hide the obviousness

from I, myself and me

became greater than the duty

to be sincere.


And so some are on my side,

I am clear.

But too many believe they know

what’s better for me;

too few believe any more

in my right to my dignity and pride.


And so now I choose: and the choice

has to be clear.

You go not with the cousin – my once

beloved C – who, quite secondly,

simply has acted on behalf

of the wealth

she so unambitiously does covet.

You go not even with the cousin quite first

these days

(the one you do treasure,

not the one you long ago had

the stenchful measure of),

however she feels – quite kindly –

she must act.

And so you never will darken the doorstep

of K, and you never will

speak again to your brother T – the one who fucked her

as his lover,

and then spent the next decades,

working out ways

to score your body over and over, he did;

with the bastardly intent of

men awful bad again.


For in places near and far,

for some reason all these people

have fought,

back and forth

and silently toward you,

to finally convince you their ontology

is cool.


But the thing about ontology

is you can’t lend or borrow

its wonderfully

sorrowful youths.


My ontology is mine, and will never

quite be yours –

however close you once believed

you might become

to the me

even I truly wanted to see.


So listen up, you three horsepeople

(now it could be four,

but let’s say for the moment

it really ain’t) of

this ever so messy eclipse,

that slowly starts to re-

suit my life:

if it’s a choice between the

flying freedoms of Foucault

and the liberties much

more specious

of people like yous – K, T, and C

I’m meaning (let’s

leave still treasurable other cousin

out the frame for the

moment) – then

remember this now

and remember this fine:

I am now with Em & Co,

and the people

who excite my brain.


They are giving me space

to become what want: not running me

circles to confuse and dismay.


Last year if you’d tried

I would have been yours for ever – such

an ever my dear; you dearest, sexiest,

far-too-young-for-me long


but today, this month, in eight days or eleven,

or any heavenly number

we’re presumably going to need,

I will be going to Dublin to start the rest

of my life;

and never will you see me again.


And the difference is that:

yous with the wealth think you know best;

yous with the health think you test fair;

yous with the selling power think you make out;

but what yous with all the stuff

you have

sorted so well

don’t realise is exactly where I’m at.


I yearn for the liberty to make myself new:

I don’t want a stale

reconversion so boring

to the

truly passed and old you

believed last year

to be so bold.

And all you did offer me was a joining together

with a woman – your mother – so much

sadder than all the sad women who’ve

hung onto me.

And then you tried all your tricks to make me

mad as a hatter.

But it’s over that game, now.

Oh how it’s now utterly bad and over.


And so my life with my strife

will separate – good

or bad – and I shall find a new woman;

entirely from my future,

no remainder

from my past.


And maybe one day I shall blow yous out

the water; and maybe one

day I shan’t.

But either way, I know sure now I shall be

free of all those

jealousies you’ve expressed

so dreadful sore – like mother’s

milk, gone sour – over the body I am,

have been so long and trad,

and now grow

quite fab as I choose;

over the body you’ve fought and

never properly taught

its lesson.

Never properly made it the kind of

glorious had

which would’ve won me true over,

and which in June would’ve

worked, just so well.


And perhaps, after Foucault,

and Emma & Co,

I shall create this schizophrenality –

and just show

the world that

all that wealth and health and nous –

and stuff

that C last year bewildered me with,

on the best Bloomsday birthday

of my misery-laden life –

means far less to the people I really

should love to value

than those souls ever so

bad who I’ve gone

and foolish peopled

right out, 

on such weirdly curious texts

as the ones

which here,

so near to yous

I do still manage to write.