The 'We' lies by P. A. Levy

The ‘We’ Lies

After reading Simone Weil
you put on a pair of sunglasses
and stated emphatically
that every sentence
beginning with ‘we’ is a lie.

We are good together.

I asked about the sunglasses;
it was January. You explained,
with a Gallic shrug, she was French
then started reading aloud
long passages, I’ve no idea
what about ‘cos the West Ham
game was on the radio,
the Upton Park faithful
were chanting:
“We are staying up.
We are staying up.”
That doesn’t look likely;
lost again.

We were meant for each other.

I opened a bottle of beer
hoping to drown defeat:
trust me to support such
a shit team. You poured yourself
a glass of Burgundy, still feeling French
you tell me: “we have our liberty.”
To be honest, at this precise moment,
I would rather have three points.
Then, lighting a Gitanes, and surrounding
yourself in plumes of smoke for support
you chant with a smile: “we have
everything we ever dreamed of.”
Sorry, but I can’t see my Triumph Bonny
parked outside, no platinum discs
from my hit records, no cup winners’ medals
even though I always score the winning goal.
You see, she could actually be right,
this Simone Weil, ‘cos this ‘we’
doesn’t seem to be working for me.

We would always be true.

With full continental temperament
you allow your arms an acid house
dance; big box, little box,
throw your arms into explaining
about the meaning of the box,
the purpose of its existence.
You exhale Paris itching
to discuss café philosophies
or overturn Renaults
and burn them in the fireplace
waving placards saying:
‘we don’t talk anymore’.
Sacre Bleu! Merde!
I was telling you we had strikers
that couldn’t hit a shot on target
from inside the six yard box,
that our midfield had gone missing,
keeper tends to flap on crosses.
Talking isn’t the problem.

We loved each other, once.

Not every sentence
beginning with ‘we’ is a lie.

P.A.Levy says… “I'm a Cockney sparrow now living in exile in the beautiful Suffolk countryside.  As a life long West Ham fan I know all about dreams that fade and die and fortunes always hiding.”


  1. Anonymous

    I greatly enjoyed this and spent a good few hours walking around and trying out 'we' lies. Life is not fair for a West Ham fan, it must have more than it's fair share of poets in the ranks…

  2. enjoyed reading this. Although it is the kind of read that twists what my head does for a bit. Like Alex, I questioned all 'we' statements after reading this… you're truly a couple's counselor trying to drum up business, aren't you?
    well done.

  3. We thank you very much – nah, seriously, I thank you very much. I don’t know about having poets on the terraces, the infamy of the West Ham crowd has more to do with fists than words – maybe they’re beat poets!
    Thanks Alex

  4. I was toying with the notion of setting up an independent ‘Relate’ office until Lady P and I had a blazing row about this. Apparently, she doesn’t think that handing out baseball bats is such a good idea. We agreed to disagree.
    Thanks Rooze

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