by John D Robinson




Should Have Taken


‘Stay down! Stay down!’

they screamed

and it was advice I should

have taken:

I got to my feet and was

knocked back on my ass

with a busted nose: I

stayed down and was

helped to my feet,

someone gave me a

handkerchief to soak

up the blood:

the crowd dispersed,

the show was over,

I went back into the

bar: the guy who had

just beaten me,

nodded at a double

brandy upon the table

he was sat at: I lifted

the glass and drained

in one, speckles of

liquid red trickling

down the insides of

the glass from my nose.



a black line



The Rescue


She came onto me like

something possessed,

started to tell me how’d

she’d felt about me for

some-time, she was

slobbering drunk,

slurring, swaying,


beyond her, I saw my

wife approaching:

‘You’d better go now’

I said

‘That’s right, you

better fuck-off now!’

my wife said,

stepping in front

of me, going toe

to toe with the

admirer, who

turned and staggered


‘One of your old

whores?’ my wife


‘Probably’ I said.



a black line



Waking Up One Time


After waking up from a four

day binge of alcohol, hash,

pills, I found myself lying

next to a woman I didn’t

love, though she said that

she loved me,

the woman I loved had

marched out of my world:

beside the bed, the floor

was cluttered with empty

wine bottles, over-flowing

ashtrays, take-out- food

cartons, plates of

rotting food and the

interest of a large number

of flies:

I got up, vomited, smoked

a joint and phoned the

woman I loved and told

her what a pathetic

sorry-ass loser I was and

asked for her

forgiveness and that I

loved her and wanted to

be with her:

‘That’s nice to hear but

don’t ever fucking call me

again’ she said terminating

the call:

I opened a beer, it wasn’t’

going to help but I

couldn’t think of anything

else to do:

I looked out across the

park, I drank from the

bottle waiting for the

woman I didn’t love to

wake up so I could tell

her that I didn’t love her

and that she should


the day wasn’t looking

good and when I looked

into a mirror, I saw that

neither was I,

I drank the beer,

opened another

and waited.




a black line



The Long Slug


His relief and excitement were

one, as he embraced me,

urging me to sit back down in

the public bus shelter after I

had provoked and challenged

the asshole who thought he

was a tough guy and would

have for sure beaten my ass:

I sat down, relaxed and


the tough guy looked over

at me looking tough and I

couldn’t resist and winked

 at him: he began

laughing and shaking his

head, he took a long slug

from the bottle and then

made a show of offering

it to me as the other bums

looked on at the young

new-comer treading on

their toes and drinking

their share.



a black line



No Fucking


He followed me into the urinals

and stood behind me as I pissed:

‘I hear you think you’re a

tough guy’ he said

‘Maybe you’ve heard wrong’

I said finishing up and

walking over to the wash


‘Just don’t fuck with me’ he


‘I’m not going to fuck with you,

but maybe, your girl’ I told him:

‘Maybe you’ll try’ he said

‘Yeah, I might do’ I said

‘Maybe I’ll fuck with your girl’

he said:

‘Okay, let’s not do any fucking

tonight’ I suggested:

he nodded,

‘No fucking’ he said

‘No fucking’ I said.



a black line


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