map’s crap lapse

i discover you were called porkopolis
i don’t remember why
also known as the nasty
i was just trying to find how to abbreviate the state
not remembering you were a town
sometimes this american geography confuses
sometimes it amuses
all i learnt about in geography was volcanoes
and rainfall

do i ever know where i am?
sure, when not away from street signs
or at home
i undress, pegged by GPS

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bites bytes

i have been trying to work out
what the fuck bit me
the ghost ants move around
and they nip at me even as i sit there
on the couch i just finished paying for
nipping away at my flesh
sometimes we call them sugar ants
it isn’t sweet in this suite
with this whisper of an invasion

then yesterday i found a single flea
and i remembered being told
of the squirrel in the walls
the landlord was trying to kill
so i have stuff i put on
mosquito bites, ant bites,
and now flea bites?

they suck
and it sucks
and i scratch forever
trying to dodge the skin break insanity
in the ways that eczema taught me
run away the itch; don’t use the nails
this situations grows old; it stales

outside a guy

my beard is still a subject for conversation
am i still working on it?
no it’s mainly laziness
today the flirting falls flat

i’m buying kettle popcorn
after checking my account earlier
counting pennies in internet privacy

outside a guy is advertising ill-intent
shuffling around shifty
conspicuous in pink hat; car theft or drugs?

i hit heavy traffic crossing the road
past the dog sweat perfume factory
past the bird feeder squirrel threatened lady and home

for yesterday: water complications

water never used to be this complicated
turn the tap and it comes out
and you can drink it

i lived in a hard water area as a kid
so my mum bought water jugs with filters
to avoid the scale build up; it ruined elements

in london the water was sometimes brown
it had filtered through seven londoners
just ready for your cupper

in the US i learned about fluoride
our water filters took out all that crap
until they didn’t

now i am a windmill
buying water from an aquifer
driving to the well, oh well

walking behind

walking behind you
listening to you
the laughter
the run on sentences
the barely contained energy
i can tell you are high

it’s no smooth cannabis hit
some else is shaking it kinks through you
working out its chemistry in your jig
there’s a nervousness in the air
you don’t pick your feet up
you drop your voices

i imagine the whole day for you
taking the edge off the hangover later
needing a downer
to stop you from tweaking
not feeling like speaking
or being around anyone else
but suffering a loss of sense of self
and so just herding
a whole day body swerving

for yesterday: a nice phone call

you mistake me for australian
i identify as british
you welcome me
ask how i like it here
and i tell you i’ve been here seven years
warm leads aren’t always that
but today i am pleasantly surprised

you tell me you have sold your business
to a company five times larger
and you don’t know what you are going to do
with yourself
i say you can do anything
and you laugh; there’s a freedom in that

you are 54
and a hard worker i bet
it was something you loved
but you say your energy for it has gone
but you don’t seem upset

i ask you for a testimonial
and i write it down
when i hang up
i am smiling, and i pass that on

between plastic forks

you grab a plastic fork for your pastry
we are drinking kambucha
yours has pepper and mine has vanilla
they are setting up for a seminar
while miami and chicago play american football
on a screen hung high on the wall

we talk about so much stuff
you say i’m looking well, better than ever
we talk literature and movies
lose and find names
while you do your columbo routine minus coat

setting the world to rights
conducting fights
for when we have to confront others
like shadow boxing

and then we shop a little down the way
skipping over bad produce
dropping tomatoes on the floor
we always have a laugh

over the road to my house
you drink water
your frozen goods in the freezer
and we carry on the conversation
two sparking terminals

i walk you home later
and on the walk
i see a plastic fork
and i think of the one in the canteen