NaPoWriMo Day 22 – What is Manchester?

Today I’ve opted for the official NaPoWriMo prompt of using metonymy.

Is it a bee?

Is it tea?

Is it a bee eating its tea?

Is it Oasis?

Is it the rain?

Is it euphoria that glides ‘cross your brain?

Is it United?

Is it City?

Is it the pints, the cheers and the ditties?

Is it your hopes?

Is it your dreams?

Is it a place that’s more than it seems.

From Peterloo to the splitting the atom…

it’s Manchester, and it’s fuckin’ smashing!

NaPoWriMo Day 21 – I am the hammer

Today is the first day I’ve gone without a prompt. Essentially it’s because a great development opportunity is available but it’s also one that would potentially fuck my shit up in terms of going beyond what is deemed permitted work.

This development opportunity is designed around providing a ladder up for those with disabilities and from lower socio-economic brackets.

However I have made it known that current DWP rules essentially great an aspiration premium whereby opportunities for advancement act as an aspiration premium.

This isn’t new to me. In 2008 after getting into Manchester University for my 1st attempt at a university education (which was plagued with mental health struggles) I went 3 months between signing up for uni to starting at uni without money because I was classed as student… completely ignorant of the fact I at that time had an insecure tenancy due to it’s infancy after spending the prior year homeless and on top of that having no money to in benefits to live off. This also meant no housing benefit either which meant I’d start university with 3 months of rent arrears.

This new opportunity years later after a year out of work as a chef due to Covid would double what’s deemed as permitted work. I believe opportunities designed to support the most vulnerable in society should also acknowledge the systemic barriers that mean the support offered to such people shouldn’t fuck their shit up. Be creative. Give half as a salary and half as a grant. Split one offer between two people in the same boat with the permitted work situation… £6500 of £13,000 is sure as hell better than £0 which is what I’ve had as a chef for the last year.

For years I was embarrassed of being on ESA, of my disability, and of my mental health struggles.

But now I offer a fuck you to the system and society that made me feel that way… I, am the hammer!

Apply for this grant,

get your dream job.

Stay in your lane,

you dumb benefits slob.

Volunteering isn’t work.

Domestic labour isn’t work.

Experience and exposure isn’t work.

This system,

doesn’t… work.

We’re expected to do better,

we’re expected to be better.

We’re expected to act as if

the aspiration premium of bureaucracy

isn’t a ceiling tinted with rose coloured glass.

But I, am the hammer!

NaPoWriMo Day 19 – 216

Today’s official prompt of using a Shakespearian insult or even those from Skeletor just didn’t sit right with me. Not when I’ve got a rich history of inventive and highly personalised barbs. When you mix two parts wrestling fan with five parts Mancunian you’re guaranteed a silver tongue that can shimmer as brightly as it’s slices are deadly.

So here’s a story from September 2007 on the 216 bus when an interloper was unclear which of my companions he was referring to.

“Oi mate, is that your bird?”

He warbled unintelligibly.

“No” I protested … with much chagrin

“I’m not into bestiality” I spat back at him.

“Wots bestiality?” bellowed the brute.

“Ask your mother…” I said being cute.

“it might explain a few things”

yet he offered no rebuke.

However what puzzled me most

wasn’t his chauvinistic candour

nor his obliviousness

to my cheeky backhander.

For all the fish in the sea that we swim in,

he just wasn’t clear…

for I was seeing

TWO women.

NaPoWriMo Day 17 – Drink in the moon

Today I’ve opted to use the official prompt of writing about the moon.

Drink in the moon

with a big gulp-sip.

Drink in the moon

till you hear that smooth blue click.

Drink in the moon,

don’t you be a fool.

Drink in the moon,

you know it looks so cool.

He loved his friend but hated himself,

fields of gold become pyrite in stealth.

Tell me how’d you become such a fool,

hurtling at hurdles

and drunk at the school.

Faced with mendacity

he resigned himself to chastity

in light of fiery feline ferocity.

Drink in the moon

with a big gulp-sip.

Drink in the moon

till you hear that smooth blue click.

Drink in the moon,

don’t you be a fool.

Drink in the moon,

you know it looks so cool.

NaPoWriMo Day 15 – What Goodness means to me

She’s always had the biggest heart.

Starts her days as wilful as dawn

and her light shines just as brightly.

Caring isn’t just her vocation,

it’s her state of being.

Every day her thoughts of others

radiate in her every action.

Mother, wife, grandma.

With the quiet strength of Atlas

and a kindness that blooms like May.

If she’s taught me anything

it’s that goodness isn’t just a

Catholic replacement for swearing

but a choice in how you live your life.