while she held on to my hand
and whispered soothing words
she had one eye on her car keys
and a quick getaway

there is no common currency here
just rates of exchange
that fluctuate wildly
in different circumstances

try calling the helpline she said
there isn’t one I said
well try calling anyway she said
so I did
many times
many helplines

fifteen of them

[first posted Jan 2, 2016]


you might have told me I was cast as fool
even if I knew
the part I play was given
by a truer hand and cruel

and now I am to play no part at all
but know
like some old stager in the wings
I’ll never get to play the hero

a hollow masque is my review
of this production
too slight a thing to be called tragic
too tragic for a farce

some wizard’s art – for my part
too fierce a magic


welcome to the party
that occurs every day
under an awning
blue often grey
the music is painful
and frequently martial
and people pass by
in tears or in laughter
if anyone asks
don’t say that I told you
those who invited me
both died years ago
I stick around
for something to do
awaiting further
welcome to the party
that occurs every day
now that you’re here
you will have to stay
please don’t think
you can just slip away
until the bitter end
and it is a bitter end

The Entertainment

The party was a washout,
the entertainment didn’t show.
The food was truly awful
and the music far too slow.
I danced a quiet tango
in a room all by myself,
said goodbye to no one
and went to bed at twelve.

At three I rose in torment
with a pain inside my head.
The party wasn’t over
but had carried on instead.
It’s just that I got sidetracked,
though in truth I’d had my fill.
I was the entertainment
just wasn’t quite as billed.