Paul you man of the armchair,
chewing on a raw chilli,
Rapping with Roland Barths and Freud.
Drinking sherry from the local shop,
and running the Bury Old Road.
Did you get to work in advertising
or was it not a place for you.
Do readers wives,
still enamour your idle afternoons,
or was it just the folly of youth.
You were a serious man
who ended atop bus-stops in Bradford.
Made manic pronouncements about Hall and Oats
Analysed my dreams of dying, not as Tears for Fears
but as a desire for penetration.
We swang you and me Paul,
Loading-up on liquor.
Hitting the Manchester night steaming.
Remember Frank who looked like a Florentine Prince
and talked to Poland on the radio.
I could go on talking.
But lets imagine we are back,
In the house of Mrs Creamer.
With no heating in the bedrooms.
Eating toast from a steel rack.
Watching war unfold in the South Atlantic.
While upstairs the boy dances to Donna Summers
Love to Love you Baby.
And we hear his feet stomping,
his twirling under an imagined mirror ball.
You know I met him once,
past midnight in the bus station.
He was naked except for a pair of silver shorts.
And his white body marked red
by a mess of love bites.
Do you remember our landlord
who was always drunk on Sunday.
Or making tapes of TS Elliot,
and watching Bluey on the box.
At Mrs Creamers, a million years ago.