I’ve Ridden Slipshod Over My Life

from the start, till now, nervous

in Primary School, checking

if my nose was clean, in the half-hearted mirror

of the classroom window as we lined to go inside

and afraid, always afraid, of teachers, girls, my parents, girls

of blinding sunlight, of rain, of the dark

But now I’ve been handed, not an excuse

more an explanation; I’m Disordered, in a Bipolar Affective manner

—although it took my fourth shrink to spot it

when I was almost 56—so all those days of lying on couches

in bed, hiding, my innumerable escapes

two tossed-away careers, my murdered marriage; and, Erron

I wasn’t an “oblivion seeker”, more a “euphoria chaser”

chasing after the highs I have of greyhounds

exploding round a track inside my head, so

I’m apologising to everyone I’ve hurt—son, ex-wife

grand-daughter, friends, ex-friends, girlfriends, students

colleagues, parents, brother, sisters—the only way I have right now

by lowering my voice and changing the bloody subject

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