People would either laugh incredulously or heckle, obviously, because that's patently not true, but amazingly I have been asked who it was based on. "Who was this terrifying woman?" someone said in a concerned fashion after a gig.
The answer? Everybody and nobody. Without giving the game away too much, I was having an almost adolescent session of philosophically musing to myself about how much compromise takes place in relationships, how much their success depends upon being in the right place at the right time, and how suitable, lovable people seemingly emerge from the ether just at the time you're mature enough to deal with them, and how this can almost feel as if it's been plotted out for you by invisible or manipulative hands, even to the extent of you being seduced or bashed around the head by the comforts of conformity. Somehow, that romantic and anti-romantic naval-gazing eventually morphed into this poem, which perhaps partly addresses some of those questions but to be honest, probably just raises a hell of a lot more (not least about my state of mind).
The woman isn't based on anyone in particular at all, and while I was writing it the vision I had was actually very vague and imprecise. I've always imagined her to have blonde highlights in her hair and a green summer dress on, but that's as much as I ever saw. If you see more, let me know.
It's a very simple poem but it's one of the few old ones I don't get the sudden urge to stick red lines through and rewrite. What it sets out to do, it does, and it feels like it weaves a neat narrative and has some images I still quite like. In particular, the line "before you honeyed me to death" could have about four different interpretations, any of which is correct so far as I'm concerned (as smug as that sounds). Interestingly, how people interpret it seems to depend upon how they feel about relationships in general. It probably doesn't help that the scenario sounds so terrifying...
If you want to read it rather than listen to it, you can do so here.