Finding my voice


When I started writing and performing.
I took a lot of inspiration from battle rap.
Thinking, if I could master my nerves.
Then with the rest of the scene.
I figured maybe I could handle that.
But my early material was pretty basic.
I didn’t rate it.
I just didn’t think I had the knack.
Cos crowds were daunting.
And would give me the hump like a camel back.
So on stage I’d shake.
That adrenalin taste proper prepping me for a heart attack.
So I’d try and project.
But my voice would wobble.
Like a CD that keeps skipping parts of tracks.
So I doubled down to beat the nerves.
And began upping my tempo with faster raps.
But found that they didn’t land with the crowd.
Like a baseball player finding that he’s last to bat.
So I went back to basics.
Began to tell stories that were way more personal.
Which had a reaction.
So I became more purposeful.
And my writing got tighter and practically surgical.
Cos now I was cutting to the core of the matter like I was slicing vertical.
My pen and verses now had purpose.
No longer was I writing merciful.
My emotional baggage all over the place.
Like a busy airport type of terminal.
Cos as a problem, this was workable.
Now my material leapt off the page.
But it had taken so long to get to this stage.
By never pushing myself, how was I expected to change?
Cos this situation had left me intense and deranged.
Selling myself short had become a senseless exchange.
So to preserve my sanity, I now write every day. 
Flexing my emotional muscles so that they get exercised. 
Purging demons with my pen till they’re exorcised.
Digging into my psyche.
Seeing which parts of me will be next in line.
Cos it’s amazing how, with words, you can get this high.
Although the process kind of has me petrified.
Not long ago I muddled along with the masses. 
Now I feel like I’ve left that tribe. 
In uncharted territory.
Wondering if I should dive in properly and test this vibe. 
Is it worth it, this poetry? 
Should I invest the time? 
At this point your guess is as good as mine.
Because our complex emotions are as deep as the ocean.
They ebb and flow. 
And if you fight and suppress them.
You’ll fast discover that they’re a worthy foe.
Feelings will peck at your mind. 
Taking flight when you reach for them like a nervy crow. 
It’ll be like you’re lost in a blizzard. 
Trying to see your way through blurry snow. 
Yeah, this is how your journey goes. 
Maybe you’ll turn to religion. 
This is probably what the clergy hopes. 
Just don’t make snap decisions.
Thinking you can strengthen your position with an early vote.
But I’m making it all sound like a murderous chore. 
Is expressing myself really worse than before? 
It’s like pre-poetry I was trapped in a room.
And writing has helped me burst through the door. 
So now my language has tactics.
Like scrabble, my words do backflips.
Cos all I’m ever doing is learning to score. 
So each time I put pen to paper it’s a game and cathartic.
Every day, I get better with letters.
Cos I’m just taming my artist.
In a state of psychosis I explore my neurosis.
Cos I’m a Doctor at this and my mind is my TARDIS.
And as I get more bold and evolve, I’m proud to say that my resolve is the hardest. 
My imagination infinite.
Like space, with its cold and its darkness. 
It’s where I find my creative place.
And reveal my true face. 
It’s where I’m the calmest. 

Soldiers of conformity


I swear the other day I was the age of twenty.
Endless queue for some shabby club.
Chancing my crappy luck.
At the very last stage of entry.
Cos back then I was a child.
Bouncing around in a state of frenzy.
But in the last decade, I gotta say, I’ve evolved.
So to figure out my goals.
I’ve got to understand how this change affects me.
Because back in the day… I felt shackled in chains.
But now if you look, you’ll find that cage all empty.
Cos life’s weird.
Keeps throwing up ways to test me.
Plus I’ve got an expressive side that’s kind of shy.
So to lure it out, you just gotta persuade it gently.

Because… the soldiers of conformity NEVER sleep.
But work to keep my self-expression at bay like age-old sentries.
However, they sing a dangerous song.
With each note playing out a painful medley.
So we remain in a stand-off.
Both parties packing weapons that we cradle tensely.
Yet each day I listen to the soldiers less and less.
And yeah, in the past I would tend to stress.
Fixating on issues like a man possessed.
Palms clammy as I get the sweats.
But now I’m more strategic.
It’s like I’m learning to defend at chess.

So when I get carried away being creative.
And people say I should take a rest.
The first thing I do is pause for a minute and suspect a theft.
I mean, someone is trying to rob me of my life force.
Ok, I’ll admit, I’m reciting this whilst wearing a pair of tight shorts.
And yeah, they’re bad ass.
But probably better worn at the gym, pursuing a range of nice sports.
Yet they’re my magnet for wonderful queers.
Helping me attract the right sorts.
Cos it pays to surround myself with people that’ll help me flourish.
Friends that back my weirdness.
So when I start to doubt they’re the first in line to encourage.
Waving their flags and singing my praises.
Keeping those conformists at bay as I skip past their cages and dance around naked.
Ignoring their rules with insolence as I laugh in their faces.

Cos I’ve transcended their mundane existence.
And now fight compliance with defiance and consent with dissent.
No longer do I bottle up feelings.
I’m way more skilled at learning to vent.
Reacting with righteous indignation to being controlled.
Like it’s some sort of cataclysmic and disturbing event.
Cos if I stay silent.
Then I’ll just be filled with burning regret.
So I need to be stronger and make clear my intent.
To avoid these waking nightmares.
Freaking others out when they see what I’ve dreamt.

For when I’m true to myself my words are never frivolous.
So when it comes to courting creativity I’m forever chivalrous.
Encouraging those in my orbit to blossom and rebel and break out of their shells.
Leaving us at risk of being branded heretics and collosal infidels.
But I have no fear.
My mind is clear.
Cos all I’m doing is learning to excel.
As I buck the establishment with impunity and lunacy and spiral straight to hell.
But I’m OK with that.
So those soldiers can go ahead and lay their traps.
But they’ll never snare me.
Tunnel vision is how they’ve been trained to act.
Man, I wish I could jolt them into life with a major slap.
But people have to want to break free on their own.
So all I can really do is show them the way and pave the track.

And that’s that.