Monday, December 17, 2018

For a majority of his time,
from early on he’d known
institutions, children’s
homes, youth detention
centres, prisons,
temporary hostels but one
time he rented his own
pad and he kept it
exquisitely beautiful,
he also dealt drugs and
protection; the paintings
that adorned his walls
captured me first
glance: bright, alive,
moving portraits of
landscapes and
people: ‘I painted
them’ he told me;
‘I painted them in
prison’ he said:
a gangster that had
smashed several faces
with a knuckle-duster,
shattered knee-caps
and supplying misery
in cellophane wraps
and now he sits
motionless in a chair,
talking gibberish and
doesn’t know what
fucking day it is,
has no awareness or
memory of his
childhood, friends
or lovers,
completely robbed
of the vicious images of
the pain and suffering
he caused for so many.

                                             THE LONGEST ROUTE
I took the longest,
the hardest and
toughest route
and that’s what I
write about:
it wasn’t a
deliberated decision
to take the bumpy
road, that shit
just happened,
there was no fate,
dream or plan
with anything
at all: nothing I
was reaching for,
I threw myself into
what was there in
front of me and
found other worlds
and places within
them, most of them
brutal and
harrowing, self-
explosive and
ignorant and I came
to love,
to love them all
and that’s what I
write about.

                                             LISTEN, SPEAK, LISTEN
Learn to listen,
learn to speak,
and then,
learn to listen again,
most stop
at the 2nd lesson.

I’d hustled my way into a
college trip to London:
although we weren’t
lovers, Stephanie and I
were very close and
wanted to be lovers:
we were in Covent
Garden when I saw him,
6ft, wearing a crumpled
black suit and eye-liner,
holding a sheaf of stapled
pamphlets of poetry
titled ‘Beauty and the
‘Poetry for sale’! he
cried out in a north
american accent:
I approached and
asked how much:
through a booze breath
‘Whatever you can give’
said Matthew H Lares,
selling his life on the
streets, hip beatnik
poetry: I admired his
presence and kept his
zeal and inspiration
and his pamphlet but
Stephanie has gone from
my life, another tale
beauty and the beast.

‘Shall we mark this one down as
a future success’ I said to my
colleague as we drove away:
‘Fuck!, he was like ‘Wolverine’
fingernails and toenails like
talons, he could never put on
a pair of gloves or shoes’ I
he was 6ft, overweight, late
30’s, long thin black hair
with strands dyed pink, blue
and green, a long thin scraggly
beard, unwashed for weeks,
kills his time 24/7 watching
t.v. on his parents sofa: no
motivation or interest in
life: never known romance
or friendship, a virgin
for shit-sure, never worked,
never drank, smoked or
swallowed, never taken
any kind of responsibility
for life’s needs, completely
dependent on mummy
and daddy for his every
‘Have you seen the movie,
‘Papillon’ I asked my
colleague : ‘No’ she
replied: I briefly outlined
the film, before, ‘Steve McQueen
becomes feverishly ill, he’s
hallucinating: he’s staggering
through a desert when
suddenly, before him, are 12
wig wearing judges sat
behind a semi circle of desks
and they collectively point
their fingers at McQueen
and simultaneously announce
that he is ‘Guilty of a
wasted life’: McQueen nods
his head, that asshole we’ve
just seen would nod his head’
she nodded her head and
smiled and then asked ‘Shall
I drop you at the liquor store?’
I nodded my head.

John D Robinson

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...