Monday, 19 October 2009

i've seen that face before

I saw him again.  Just over a week here and there he was, like me, on a laptop, Saturday night, amongst the cinema-goers and dates.  We still haven't spoken.  I wrote this back in April.

with poet’s face

and dancer’s feet


he’s everywhere I go

like my conscience

with a fresher laptop



I greeted him with smile

like he knew

that what I saw when I looked

was part phillharmonic

part bamuthi

with a little monk-type goatee


sockless in black jazz oxfords

his feet spoke to me of

the build-up of rosin on callouses

his face

like he was about to step to the mic

has become my local familiar


we’ve never spoken

his tongue could reveal

brixton or chicago

montego bay or mali


but everywhere I go

there he be

smallish frame



reminding me

of people who bring their messages

dressed in humanity’s best

he tests my artist

demands gangsta get a coat check


he’s wire




like new versions

of old software

into my synapses

til I wonder

is he real or imagined


he haunts all my spots

looks up when I walk by

always wonderin why


maybe there’s some two people

I remind him

somebody loved

or somebody left behind

somebody taught him some steps

or somebody sang lyrics to his beat


now I don’t know next

pretend we’re old friends

or walk on by again

keep the mystery deep

or find out he’s an out-of-work

software designer?


maybe just the reminder is this:

see the best of what we know

in every face we meet

see movement in even planted feet

imagine the lives behind the eyes

and pick your spots carefully.



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