HUNTING CURRY IN SMALL TOWN:
Last night at the late night curry house, last still open
in a small town, bright lights, rope lights changing colour
round the bar & modern art & staggering drinks call in,
anaesthetised eyes, for a late one, after the last one for
the road, take away to stuff swarthy jowls, lean over the
bar breathing heavy, sour breath,… we were in raptures!
Best curry in weeks, best company, best state of mind, best
“Excuse me lads I’m just going to the Gents”
“Yes sir,” Smiling
“It’s just down the back. On the left”
Walls unfinished down the other end, fresh plaster, modern art
awry, leant against unpainted walls. In the toilet stall,
totting up the riches gathered on the road of our experiences,
this week, laughing to myself at being here again in this
Dali situation, walking these childhood streets at night
in such fabulous company, impossible to dream this as that kid
who felt the walls coming in, growing up in a small town on
the edge of nowhere.
Now, all I see, is beautiful, glad to be back, peaceful, healing,
now all I see as I leave the stall at the back of the last
curry house open, is a woman who says,
“Karl? – Is that you? – It’s me – Remember?”
That little girl sister you sent to sit with me in disappointment
that it wasn’t you, come to listen to ‘head music’ in my mother’s
kitchen, that night I longed for you, were you laughing at me?
Little sister girl you sent is now this woman smiling at me,
welcoming me back to town with stories of families I never forgot,
nor the question of how long you were going with him behind my back,
that night our transit van caught you in the headlights.
“Lovely to see you, what are you doing now? How’s your family?
give them all my regards & say ‘hi’ to your sister, I saw her on
the tele. Me? I’m doing fine thank you, those are my friends,
from London, well, it’s a long story, we’re on the the road, it’s
been a long day, but we’re happy, very happy, look, can you see
them smiling, listen, you can here them laughing. I’ve got to go”