Tuesday, August 20, 2019


For a couple of decades or more I
was a barfly:
I drank in bars all over town
morning, noon and night: 
I saw gestures of drunken
kindness and sentiment and
acts of alcoholic violence
ignited by the most trivial
of matters, on occasions I
was involved in these
scenes of intoxicated
compassion or aggression,
I went with it, it’s
what happened but I
never understood it or
even wanted to, it was a 
world I inhabited for a 
while, then I moved to
drinking in the streets
with the helpless, homeless,
deranged and beautiful
unpredictable alcoholics 
and it was even uglier
than the bars and after a
few years I decided to
drink alone.


We were talking about butterfly’s and
how some species migrate thousands
over miles annually, moving up to
speeds of 30mph and riding the
swirling thermals and forceful
‘The power and intelligence of
these delicate creatures can be
comparable to that of the great
white shark’ I said
he smiled widely and nodded his
head slowly: we were stoned on
potent hash and Valium,
our eyes mere slits,
our throats dry
our mind’s and bodies
saturated with a heavy
peacefulness that made
discussing the beauty and
wonder of butterfly’s and
sharks in the same breath as
something quite natural
as then, the silent t.v. screened 
pictures of the
horrific aftermath of a 
suicide bomber in the beating
heart of a food market
someplace in the world.


Writing came early,
poetry a lot later, 
virginity was there from
the start and I lost it
in my early teens,
alcohol and drugs were
early demons but 
are my friends now,
love and friendship has
always been 
unpredictable in this
world that seems to
suffocate and kidnap
such unions,
death has always been
close by,
some say heaven is
waiting for some of
us and I
couldn’t give a shit
and I learnt that
early on.


She jumped in her mid-teens from
middle-class university future into
the world of sex and drugs: speed
was her choice and later, alcohol:
our mothers were life-long friends
so she and I had known each
other since toddlers: I was sweet
on her and I think she felt the
same but we never got it
she had two daughters by
some fucking vicious speed-
freak, she couldn’t look after
them and they were removed
from her care:
she became obliterated,
homeless, her body swelled
and her skin yellow and she
died a few weeks after a 
savage beating from some
useless piece of shit:
a few years previous she
had called on me: we sat
and drank wine and smoked 
hash, she wasn’t in too bad shape,
I had thoughts of intimacy but I
knew she was vulnerable and
maybe lonely and looking for a
little safe friendship where she
could relax for a while and 
that was enough:
she was cremated, a small
number attended: one of her
daughter’s was serving 15
years for attempted murder
and was handcuffed to 2
prison officers, her other sister
was present, both were weeping:
prayers were said and hymns
were muttered quietly and as
we filed out I could hold back
no more as my eyes gave way
to tears as I walked away into
a day that needed drowning
in sorrow and alcohol.


He’d piss and shit his pants, he’d
vomit constantly, everywhere,
he’d fall and sustain cuts and
injuries to his head, arms and
legs, vodka black-outs:
countless times he woke up in
hospital: his sober brother was a 
charity-aid-worker and he didn’t
give a fuck about his sibling,
no one did, he didn’t give a 
fuck about himself:
I wasn’t shocked when I was
told that he had been found 
dead, choked own his vomit:
I didn’t feel sad but relieved for
him in a way I’d  never felt
before, he was free of the
wretchedness that had
imprisoned him and I knew
he was never going to
make a jail-break.


She loved me just the one time,
I’ll love her forever,
no doubt, she’d rightfully
forgotten about me by the
next day:
I was half-her age and she
should have known better,
but I’m thankful she didn’t
and I loved her for it,
for the moments of
intensity and the surging
young macho imagination
of which she was
completely aware of and
accepted this ignorance
and my obvious flaws
and I loved her for it,
even today,
she did love me, albeit,
very briefly, she probably
can’t remember and 
cast the fleeting feelings
aside a long time ago
but that hot exchange
is here, now, alive
a world away from
where she is now.

John D Robinson

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