In ’84 it was dire to live with
my so-unendurable shyness
I thrived when unheard – hid
behind a re-bolted fire door
& my off-the-hook landlines –

it wasn’t as if I’d veer – spin &
hit head-on  /  James B. Dean
did it first & last  /  No return
from a crash of startling light
No more – no one still insists

on their self-destruction – not
without writing an awful note
Back then I used leaked pens
& pads & ripped clear sheets
or a self-addressed envelope

A singer poured his lyrics out
to us – a crush of hot punters
We fingered each sleeve note
until we seeped & transferred
in whorls – inked fingerprints –

& I hid from provinces of cold
looks – regards – until fearless
pretence found me still extant
but with no shy ways  /  A lost
modesty in my last songbook

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