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 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 12 – Aristotimus Disintegrator

Today I’ve opted to the official NaPoWriMo prompt of using both Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.

As a result I wrote a Ukiah based on the reign of Aristotimus in the ancient Greek city of Elis. I was eager to find the Statue of Cylon however in another fun twist that linked to the prompt I was linked to figurines from Battlestar Galactica.


Corrupt as a Scarlet Moon,
Forty-score exiles
till Aetolian sunset.

NaPoWriMo Day 6 – Winter is Coming (to Manchester)

Today I’ve opted for the official NaPoWriMo prompt.

Winter is coming

in the middle of Spring.

Fire up your hearths

and your wolf pelt skins.

Barring that try a hoodie,

a jumper that’s fluffy.

With a cup of hot cocoa

that helps you feel lovely.

With Bojo as Joffrey that’s ruling the realm

whilst Cummings like Tywin is truly at helm.

But I’m King of the North and I say stuff em.

Whether it’s bread cake, barm cake or oven top muffin…

We can all agree the weather here’s shit,

But we’ll never complain, nope not one bit.

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…

NaPoWriMo Day 2 – The Balance of Eternity

For day 2 I’ve attempted both the Local Gems and the official prompt simultaneously with a Petrarchan Sonnet relating to the question of how to find meaning and ancient knowledge in a world that has forgotten itself and it’s truths.

Souls burst from darkness in neon cascades

but are we rodents in a cosmic trap?

Third eye blind, Gaia wept like weirwood sap.

False realities rise while truth’s star fades.

Meaning was lost in exploitative trades.

Auras applaud – and begin with one clap

is rebirth’s renown a most lucid nap?

The universe, … a dream that never wades.

Love – the compass of celestial travel.

Mouths hushed silent, emboldened hearts agape.

Enlightenment upon firefly flutters.

Judgement is a Promethean gavel…

grant critics nor doubt Mjölnir, be happy.

For life … is a sentence … blessed … with … stutters…

NaPoWriMo 2019/Day 1 – Recipe for Disaster

So a little precursor for day 1.

I stand on the precipice of some amazing opportunities but a combination of depression and witnessing the pointless cruelty of someone stifling the creativity and growth of a loved one while also affecting a potentially beneficial project have gotten me royally fucked off. Jaime Lannister may have said “by what right does the Wolf judge the Lion?” but a larger question for our society is “by what right does the fly hinder the workhorse?” For a fly knows nothing but the stench of shit and hindering those that are doing or have the potential to be doing good work.

Anyway. Here’s the piece:

Take a pinch of reality – oh shit… the whole cup

with the wisdom of Solomon to ask for none.

For knowledge without power is lacking in agency…

I have no taste for fuelling falsehoods flagrantly.

Is a pigeon stand-offish when the ledge is spiked?

I carry the message that’s needed, not the one that is liked.

Many are stupid, and many more crueller…

they sip Arbor Gold, gallivanting to stupor.

Bereft in agony, for my loved ones oft afar…

my heart remains open while life is ajar.

The ingredients are gourmet

but the pan is rusted.

I’m brilliant, alone and depressed

but is it me that’s busted?