well, it goes like this …

It all started
last month
when I …

No wait
it goes back
before that
three years ago
when she …

Actually it was
when he said …
but that would have
been ten years
or more now

So it must have been
as far back as before all
that and further still
when I was just a child

Yes, of course
it all began at
the beginning
which would be
the day before
I was born

Or even before
that when my father …

(D. James)

Not now or ever

And god is not listening
to you tonight

Tear-stained cheeks
knees bruised from rocking
on the hardwood floor
The words mouthed
over and over again

But god is not listening
to you tonight

He is indifferent
as the dead you
pray for

Deaf as my grandmother

So you would do
well to stand up,
wash your face
and stop asking
for absolution
from someone else

Because god is not listening
to you tonight

But don’t take it
too hard
or make it into
something else
to be miserable
about

For he is not listening
to anyone …
tonight
or any other

(D. James)

How long do you stay in Hollywood?

The girls walk by
high-heeled shoes
and tight jeans
cigarettes and perfume

Pseudo bad-boys drive
around on expensive
motorcycles that rumble
like thunder

Everyone pretends to
be somebody here
even the movie stars

And the waitresses
in miniskirts
counting tips
in their heads,
worry about their boyfriend’s
drug habit

2am and the boys
from the band
stumble out
of their van
order coffee and smoke cigarettes

watching the legs
of the waitress
who just wants
to go home

Everyone is from
somewhere else
in this city that’s really
a suburb

this place of dreams
that can quickly turn
into a nightmare

And once you wake
it’s best to slink on home

(D. James)