Less than a week till Unmasked’s first showing!

Ushiku Crisafulli and The Peer Hat presents: Unmasked – a journey through the autistic mind via hip hop, comedy and theatre.

On Tuesday 21st September I’ll be doing a scratch performance of my piece Unmasked which exams concepts around autistic authenticity through comedy, theatrical monologues and hip hop at The Peer Hat.

As it is an early scratch performance ahead of the full preview at Old Bank Studios in April 2022 I’ll be supported by a group of fantastic performers.

In hour 1 we’ll be joined by Loll a passionate poet and excellent barber whose spoken word is just a cut above; and Tonkabell Manchester’s favourite non-binary fairy whose words capture a range of emotions from the importance of sharing to the weirdest of love.

In hour 2 we’ll have comedy from a comic that might just be too cool in Kieran “Keesh” Grey and a fantastic comic storyteller and Camden Town Brewery New Act Comedy finalist in Justina Sesel; followed by a trip through childhood via the musical musings of Jonny Holland who first came to my attention when I saw him doing sick metal riffs to Sonic the Hedgehog

Hour 3 will be a scratch performance of Ushiku Crisafulli’s Unmasked.

Doors open: 7pm

First act: 8pm

https://thepeerhat.co.uk/event/unmasked/

NaPoWriMo Day 30 – Gratitude is the Ki

If you ask me how to get to the top

I couldn’t tell you. 

While mistakes can be alchemised 

transmuting trauma 

and forging futures front foot forward

I have also danced upon the edge of despair. 

I’ve driven myself mad

deciphering depression 

and analysing anxiety. 

So while I bask in favourable fortunes

I shan’t look to explain them. 

Instead, 

I shall enjoy the rippling winds of change

and appreciate the pleasure of this moment. 

NaPoWriMo Day 27 – Agnosthesia

Today I’ve embraced the official prompt of using an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

For three fortnights I’ve pondered

as the diorama spun-

splintering inside my fractured mind.

“I’m aware it’s a game,”

“I’m aware that it’s a no.”

I’m aware I was tripping balls

but it’s an opportunity to grow.

In that realm context brought pain,

sautéed synapses soaked in regret.

Why does everything have to relate to everything

when you’re finding it hard to relate to anything?

Yet I stood tall, I owned the wrong I did to others.

I refused to partake in cruelty even in a realm defined by it.

But now, I must right the wrongs in how I’ve treated myself.

NaPoWriMo Day 25 – Making an Elite Impact

Today’s official NaPoWriMo prompt of creating a poem for an occasion that doesn’t usually herald a poem was an odd one in that one can write a poem about anything. Nonetheless I went with previewing tonight’s Impact Rebellion main event of Rich Swann vs Kenny Omega in a title vs title match where the winner will hold both the All Elite Wrestling and Impact Wrestling world championships.

Three belts.
Two titles.
One main event.

Both travelled to Japan.
Honing their craft
in the Asian independents.

“We’ll face each other one day”.
They could never imagine
it being like this.

The forbidden door swung open
pushed forth by the force of an Invisible Hand.

Two champions walked through.
But when the squared circle becomes a shapeless memory…
… only one will remain.

NaPoWriMoDay 24 – Whoever said blue is the colour of sadness?

Today I’ve gone with the official NaPoWriMo prompt, and figured I’d make a link between the blue associated with sadness and the blue of the blue/little/fairy penguins.

Whoever said blue is the colour of sadness

never knew Eudyptula minor.

A little penguin with a huge heart,

it’s blue hues as deep as the smiles they elicit.

From mainland Australia

to Tasmania

they create life

2 by 2.

So too on Philip Island

where the sublime innate magic

of the fairy penguins

is on full display.

Like Piplup but real,

We gotta save em all!

NaPoWriMo Day 23 – Today, I rest

Dreams will come soon

cos I’m fucking knackered.

Let us hope they’re greater

than this introduction.

Nor did I feel like responding to another poem…

praise and disdain are distant cousins

that flitter and flutter to the wind

becoming the sleep that’ll engulf my impatient eyelids.

Instead I wave at writers block,

I recognise it as a wistful creature

on the road to tomorrow.

Today, I rest.

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.