I’ve got you on my mind is all, old friend,
it’s not so much the way the cello plays
against the gain of Stephen Street’s slow bass
guitar, as when the drums come crashing in.
I’ve got you on my mind is all, but then
the tidal sands that ran the promenade
had made us sick at heart, like Larkin’s vase.
The girl in Hopper’s Automat pretends
that she is all alone. Turning inward
is a kind of bone we throw: small reward
for those like us, the ugly ones caught out,
the ones that cannot cope with life, it’s hard,
the only things we know for certain, words
that undertow a paucity of light.