Students Don’t

They don’t throw parties
like we did –
no sleepovers in puddles
of puke and-or-piss –
or found shagging bareback
their best mate’s lover
They don’t sink pure vodkas
for breakfast –
no acid – nothing dropped
without a full appraisal –
googling its providence
Unlike their bad parents –
who took to partying too hard
with only the letter E to look up –
They don’t throw up like we did

Royalty

He is there – again – the ageless barfly
sat like a sore king at the wet-ringed table
where he fondles his tide-marked pint of beer
in the rooted grip of his right hand and

with each sup he plans to swallow time –
kept to Greenwich by his amber hour-glass –
well drunk – but he is still able to command
the Queen’s English – words not troops that is!

He is the clich̩ Рthe grounded boozer who wills
his wide-smiled laughter and loud intrusions
upon more innocent patrons – virgins in his game –
those who do not know how he plays the room

.. Don’t take the adjacent seat – don’t be fooled
by his schemes – of words and winks ..
For them he prepares to over-deliver
.. it is so well-known that he never listens
by dint of his loudness and eyebrow animations ..

And a woman – and a man – scrape chairs out
to sit across from him at his stained table –
and he now turns – with his sips of time to take –
and soon she is giggling at his crude stories
whilst her silent man stares at his glass

After half an hour they stand to leave the scene –
the man with a shoved handshake for the barfly –
to quietly let the pub’s royal drunkard know
that he is not wanting to fight – not tonight –

and the well-pissed king is left
to drink
on his own

 

Units of Measure

It is this moment – a problem of
mine – in my stumbled-to-stand –
when I rise to a lowered sobriety –
to another false swing of swagger
into the blind tight turn to corners
of sharp right-rights and then-thens –

I am stuck still – counter-stopped
at the gloss-bald white worktop –
to find-and-twist – to dead-head –
another French label – volute
from contorts in cellars – such snobs –
at eighteen quid-ish of so much –

So very much more – bottled up –
Another grip on her narrow neck –
she opens up to a wine bled red –
a gutting-burn of drunk guilt
as I surrender to my mild hangover
which is my waking anal fist

Late

I cannot suppress the yawns
of this drawn-down evening;
earlier she re-scaled a recipe
into four guest-sized dishes,
adding a handful of dark olives:
We were sat, blindfold-drunk,
in alcohol’s sway of puked lies,
arguing against the concrete
piles of objectionable opinions –
truth still born by boozed cecity.

The Free Ride

Here, for a second time
in our relationship
(should that be ‘only’?)
I wait in a rain-spat car,
now on the wrong side
of a hand-braked midnight,
expecting you, please soon,
to re-surface from a night
of red wine, gin and fags,
in this town of staggerers,
shed-sheltered faggers,
last-bus-to-Ringmer-takers,
on this dark street of
shouts-from-around-about,
but you do not answer me,
my repeated calls and texts,
and it will be, later, much later
a simple miscommunication
writ by your right to escape.

Tab


Now, what we wake to,
we cannot undo,
that accident of drink,
words lost to you:
No soften of pain,
nor popped-codeine,
to fix risen days,
redux, lie ins:
Foul-breathed wine,
paused, re-aligned,
from few hours straight,
to another lost time:
That reminder, rattled,
loose-change gathers,
buying bar laughter,
soured breath,
days after.