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 3 – Flashforward

I’m a tad behind having been a busy bee. Nonetheless I wrote day 3’s offering yesterday on day 5.

I got a homebody with a journeyman’s soul,

I’m always on the run even when my pace is slow.

So let’s go back, half a decade ago

unwind to a time when I were in vogue.

At the top of my game, yet I still got relegated.

I was in love but it got cut short,

she wasn’t outta my league

she just played another sport.

Cos y’know only fools play by the rules,

you thought that I could be a star but I shined because of you.

Maybe that’s my fault, I should have shined just for me,

but I loved the angel too

so I was shining for three.

It’ll never be the same

cos I can lose the weight

and regain momentum.

But when you’ve loved and lost

you still don’t forget em.

So I could travel the world

– getting drunk on a memory.

I never wanted the hoes,

just a shot and some Hennessy.

Double-barrelled casks? I ain’t trifled.

Cupid swapped arrows for an Uzi

cos you’d taken the Michael…

the Conrad, and even Bob’s Burgers

with a red neck and brown nose for taking orders.

Then I became a chef, how I laugh at the irony.

Cooking up a storm with a pinch of what might’ve been.

You had all the ingredients but you swapped it for a Pot Noodle,

now you’re in hot water

fuck the Bombay Badboy.

There’s more fire in my eyes than a billion Mike’s dropped.

Cos this Fat Man goes nuclear when he’s put in a tight spot.

See the passion of my soul

I’m the hip hop Prometheus,

I stole a gift from the Gods

now I’m continuing to pay for this.

Now I’m working in theatre,

and I’m hitting my renaissance.

I may be fickle for fame

but I don’t want the things that they want.

A platform and marketing is all that appeals,

and a family sized trailer called a Heart on Wheels.

Now I know you cut the breaks,

but I’ve no intention of crashing.

I hope this flashback will flash forward

to a day where I’m laughing…

at some dumb shit, someone special’s cute smile…

but it won’t be you…

I’ve known that for awhile…