I wrote in vacuum, blank to the race

Penelope’s loom that sets her own pace.

But now I hear you’re writing too.

Envy spurs me, the heel of your shoe.

I know you’ll steal these words from me

As you congeal my vocabulary

I’ll be washed up, lonely, left with the dredge

Boring, predictable, meat and two veg.


Or maybe it’s an image you’ll get to first

Burn it on retinas of all who thirst

For something new, like fresh green lettuce,

While I peddle yesterday’s fish gone fetid.

And once they’re tainted by your tongue

That’s over, finished, yes you’ve won

I’ll have to capitulate, surrender, renege.

Bow down, lose the encore, go backstage.


So I mourn the broken phrases and stanzas you’ve robbed

Clutching at remains, hand stump, as it throbs

Because that’s what you’ve done, taken my fingers

Slowly and deliberately, blunt safety scissors.

It’s rivalry, battle, we can’t coalesce

Purgatory, be damned if I acquiesce

So I won’t. I’ll use it, fuel for my tank

Grasp at the helm, wrench away from the bank

So leech me leech while I’m still in the shallow

Knowing you’re about just gives me more ammo

And I’ll write full of hatred and realise then

All this time, really, you’ve been my best friend.