For years people have suspected I harbour a dark secret.
That I’m an extroverted introvert.
That this is my daft weakness.
But I need a better way to express this.
Maybe with a smart leaflet?
Nah, scratch that, my method needs more passion.
Someone get me a charmed priestess.
I need her for casting spells and raising hell.
And setting out my personal manifesto like she’s writing her stark thesis.
Because when people say I’m confident I panic.
And find my mind racing but hidden behind calm features.
Maybe it’s because I’m more like an IT nerd, focusing on the detail.
Trying to code my life in a vast sequence.
But for the most part I avoid my flaws.
For a host of large reasons.
But none are really valid.
Which means this approach I just can’t give credence.
But in reality, the main problem I have is that I wrestle a dichotomy.
My mind torn between outgoing and withdrawn has my head a ripe vessel for lobotomy.
Am I normal, or the next Jekyll and Hyde?
Walling off emotions because my gut heckles inside.
Bending under duress as I’m put to the test.
Like a blacksmith beating at metal that’s fried.
Which is debilitating, and kind of makes it tempting to hide.
Cos even though my mental state is under threat, I’m not done yet embracing these lies.
Using the introvert as an excuse to keep saying I’m shy.
But when I do put myself out there.
It’s often the case my extrovert gets swollen with pride.
So maybe I should take a step back.
And learn to be at peace with both sides.
Because my split personality is probably a blessing.
Something to grow and invest in.
A treat in disguise.
So you’re on a night out and things are going swimmingly.
But something splits your thoughts like divorce.
And so you’re ill at ease.
Are these people really your friends?
Or just here to witness your social life implode and slowly descend?
Cos nights alone at home got you here.
And now you’re just making amends.
And yeah, maybe fair enough and it’s all too little too late.
But you’re a problem solver.
Experienced now, you’re wiser and older.
No way will you let life dictate your slide from grace like a fallen soldier.
Cos now’s the time for that plan for battle.
Put together all casual like you’re planning your travel.
Cos you’re gonna nail this friend game with moves utter genius.
No chance you’ll be an outcast.
Doomed to insanity like mad King Oedipus.
If there’s anything that an old legend like that teaches us.
You just need stay calm and ensure your next moves are subtle and devious.
But there’s a fair chance people will say you were a sociopath.
Ego inflated… pure calculated doing the math.
Cos sometimes you stumble.
And get left thinking you’ll never get through this intact.
Stuck making small talk in some bar.
Proudly reciting dubious facts.
Or like you’ve met your girlfriend’s family.
And you’re hyper aware of impressing her dad.
But maybe this is just a phase?
And you’re trying it out and testing this fad.
Cos as you lay down the law and keep score you can’t help a smile.
Then slowly you return to arresting the damned.
So you’ve heard of S.A.D.s right?
That seasonal winter disorder.
You know… the one where your social skills take flight like a ship in the night and you can’t get aboard her.
And any activity outside the house is only going to exhaust ya.
Cos you just wanna hibernate.
Well I get it bad each year.
And its tendrils settle on me like blanket fear.
But I gotta fight this trait.
Assuming that it’s a flaw in my character.
Cos maybe I’m looking at life through the wrong lens?
And I need a new kind of aperture.
But I lack skill and feel ill; chasing these good vibes.
This ain’t what the doctor prescribed.
I’m such an emotional amateur.
Trying to squeeze positivity out of every beat.
So effectively, I stave off defeat like a social scavenger.
And yeah, maybe I need a CT scan presented in a nice little 3D plan.
If that’s the case, then someone better call an examiner.
Get me signed off work for a month or two.
And yeah I can put on a positive front, it’s true.
But I need to up my game to fool my manager.
And people keep telling me to chill.
Go run a bath for my ills.
To help soothe my troubles while I drown in lavender.
But all I can do is count down the dark days on my threadbare calendar.
Looking ahead to when my mood lifts.
And I stop taking these rude hits.
And then maybe life will feel less like I’m a coasting passenger.
Toasting my demise with haunted eyes as I witness my own exquisite massacre.
I swear she came to me in a surreal and lucid dream.
On a mission, this little vision.
Keeping me topped up with a hot cup of elusive tea.
Cos she was my hero, this jazzy and beautiful weirdo.
Grinning at me as she plotted to cause an amusing scene.
And of course, yes, she was a potent force.
But one infused with inclusive glee.
Allowing me into her personal space and turning up after a right battle.
There she was with mad hair and a gentle stare.
She greeted me sweetly, this wonderful little Pineapple.
And yeah, as far as first meets go with a DiscoLeopard.
This one simply could not have been bettered.
Cos as I stood there all spacey, battered and weathered.
And dispossessed of thought with my mind in tatters and severed.
It was clear, this had been a night of surprises.
And if I thought I had nothing left to give I was dead wrong.
Cos from the start we didn’t shoot from the hip, but the heart.
Going back and forth like ping-pong.
Background of the club fading away as we danced to the beat of our own theme song.
Cos our chemistry was evident.
And the people round us irrelevant.
Hell, we were headstrong.
And if you thought our encounter would be short-lived.
Then damn, you’d have guessed wrong.
Cos since that first night we’ve been a little unit with a thirst to fight.
Defiantly singing our best song.
So don’t just stand there on some sort of lyrical ceremony.
Cos this is none other than our physical testimony.
As we’ve got each other’s backs in a tag team rocking tracks.
Outperforming you at karaoke.
Basically we’re the Bandit.
Running rings round you as Smokey.
So look, I’ll be candid and draw it big for you in the form of a huge emoji.
As she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
And honestly, life has never looked as rosy.
And out of all the guys out there.
I have to say, I’m still in awe she chose me.
‘So this latest session was a minor indiscretion I’m guessing?’ she says.
And this time I know, there’s no second chances.
What I’ve done, there’s no way she’ll look past it.
Not with those glasses.
Magnifying her contempt like I’m a total bastard.
Cos right now, I feel like she’ll stab me in my sleep.
Like that Christmas dinner I ruined burning the turkey.
She’ll choke me as I breathe.
I relationship was built on lies you see.
Basically, I’ve flattered to deceive as she’s watched me squirm and scheme.
Leaving scorched earth in our forest like I’m burning trees.
I just didn’t want to hear it.
Crushing her spirit like I’m spurning dreams.
With no simple way out like Jack’s magic beans, brother please.
Most I can hope for is she doesn’t parade me at her lover’s feet.
Cos if I’m honest, I’ve had enough of this heat.
And need to learn fast how to govern the beast.
But then, when do I ever learn?
I’m less likely to evolve as a man more crash and burn.
There’s a special queue in hell for me.
And all I need to do is cash in my chips and wait my turn.
Sit patiently because my fate I’ll learn.
With cool calm she eyes me like a tennis player.
And I know she’s about to break my serve.
Cos I’m lying to myself thinking I can make this work.
So she lays down the law, her eyes raw.
And it’s clear to me she can’t fake this hurt.
Then I take a step back and assess the damage.
Her sweet face pains me.
I confess it now looks ravaged.
Her brow all creased up, her mood savage.
I did this.
Leaving her in a state of rude damage.
Looking at her I ask myself…
Do I walk away or do I choose to manage?
This thought makes me panic and I want to vanish.
Damn, this chick has baggage.
And honestly, she’s no easy challenge.
Yes, this is a special kind of hell I’ve brought on myself.
But there’s a way out if I can find the passage.
However, this rant right here, it’s all about me.
What are her wants? Her needs?
Cos right now I’m classed as an enemy soldier.
Camped down in the trenches when I need to be bolder.
Letting my conscious hide in the bunker.
When it should be sending me over.
Making me face my demons and embrace these feelings.
But corrupt thoughts consume me.
I need to chase those heathens.
But like a wretched vessel I sit here and wrestle.
With my warped psyche that I’ve put on this pedestal.
All the while she looks on with a glassy-eyed stare.
Eyes like pits of darkness as she plays with her hair.
Broken bottles and frantic squabbles as two fighters get down and dirty on the rancid cobbles.
Their sweat and blood staining the dirt.
Looking for that killer punch.
A right royal haymaker to get their opponent tasting the earth.
Their whole lives have built to this moment.
But so far they’ve been wasted since birth.
Endlessly killing time chasing the skirt.
Constantly competing and racing for first.
Yet here they stand again.
Two titans, these old men, only making it worse.
Both hungry for the kill.
Like old lions facing the herd.
Feeling ill, as they taste blood and it quenches their thirst.
One uncaged lunges in a rage, but the other dodges.
He’s evasive we learn.
His mind sharper, reflexes faster as he braces and turns.
Facing his foe ducking low.
Looking for that knockout blow that’ll end this damn curse.
Heavy hitter, but each fight just leaves him bitter and he’s getting jaded and worse.
Song fading as he plays out his verse.
If only he could make the other fighter see sense.
Serve him up a cease and desist.
Instead he gets to meet with his fist which weakens his wrist.
Cos he likes the other guy.
And try as he might he can’t be faking his hits.
Fights like this come around less often than a lunar eclipse.
And if he’s honest, these clashes give him an excuse to exist.
Who is he to resist?
Slowly it dawns, he’s getting to grips and getting the gist.
He was made to battle.
Cooking up right hooks coming in at a lazy angle.
Nothing phases him.
It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
Scratch that, he’s a Lord passing judgement now banging the gavel.
Fists ripping through the air at the speed of sound like they were made to travel.
He’s schooling this guy with moves so fly.
Should have his own demo channel.
I hit real hard but I’m locked out of this guy and literally barred.
Guess I’ve pulled the mystery card.
Damn human, he barely swoons.
Somehow he’s resisting and scarily immune.
This I ask why as I’m forced to diversify.
But get nowhere facing wall after wall.
Might as well learn to fly.
But then I become stuck for words, tongue-tied as my circuits fry.
I attack back but it’s a stalemate.
Me versus guy.
And right now, as he sings to me his verses lie.
I curse and sigh, he’s less sad sack more stone-cold samurai.
Time to step back from my game plan, be bold and analyse.
Find a chink in his armour or this whole day will be a disaster.
This cheeky, healthy freak, why won’t he just die a bit faster?
He’s basically a perfect specimen, clearly one of God’s special men.
This I want to shout from the rafters.
But it’s a lame song.
This guy will never die.
He’s got more charisma than James Bond.
From the swagger of Connery to Craig’s blonde, he’s way gone.
At least, up to the point that you think he’s died.
And so for my sins I must coax him in.
Like it’s a wedding day and he’s a nervous bride.
I mean, what way can I infect his worthless hide?
As a virus I’m not invincible.
And right now I’m feeling miserable and must swallow my pride.
Damn this man, he’s a thorn in my side.
I want to straight up brand him with my disease till he chokes on his lies.
Where’s his weakness?
I’ll find a way in, he’d best believe this.
Big deal he can fight off lesser known diseases.
There’s more to me I’m a different breed.
Focused and upbeat and no complete defeatist.
A religious jihadist with this game, no cheated extremist.
For him and me? We’ve got bad blood.
And I plan to attack in a mad rush, latching onto his Hemoglobin.
This man’s not special and needs to know that he’s not chosen.
So I advance on his defences and gently goad him.
His reflexes falter becoming frozen.
Weak cells face all kinds of hell, his body smoking.
Like vampire scum in the sun, close to exploding.
What’s the best way to throw him?
Days numbered on Death’s clock you see.
Is this some kind of democracy where his fate rests on voting?
This I ponder with a sense of foreboding.
But right now I’m calling his tab.
Last round and all that and time on this guy is now close to closing.
He crouches on the roof, sweaty but focused.
When ready his laser sight parts the crowds like he’s Moses.
Cold lens with crosshairs, he don’t despair.
Waiting till his target is closest.
He goes unnoticed.
Calm, in a state of hypnosis as he prepares to kill.
Taking pride in his job he approaches with flair and skill.
Work ethic brutal he does not care to chill.
From his jacket he pulls his pay packet and goes to tear the bill.
But can’t bear to lose the thrill.
Honestly, he didn’t choose to feel.
But the high comes naturally.
He gets off on this and does it with a certain majesty as he checks his gadgetry.
Kill count floating through his mind in a vivid tapestry.
Glancing anxiously, he sets his watch.
As his target stops and clocks that something’s off.
The cat’s out the box and all bets are off.
Moving with economy, we’re curious to see the next move of this deadly prodigy.
He slinks through shadows with dogged feet.
Stalking his target dancing to a morbid beat.
An assassin who plays by the rules, no sordid cheat.
Best avoid the cops he can’t afford the heat.
Be more discreet with the law of the street.
It’s time he walk the walk or chalk this down to a poor defeat.
But this score is no chore.
Surrounded by gore, he carves up bodies till they hit the floor and fall at his feet.
Pressing for confession, he gets no further than a wall of deceit.
Getting angry, he wants to brawl with these geeks.
In their last few seconds of life he can tell they’re stalling a treat and cooling their feet.
Brave goons that don’t change their tune.
Protecting their boss who’s a fool and a cheat.
Pen to paper his words make this man a lyrical saviour.
Phrases tight and concise, watch them taper into nothin’ but vapour.
Smoke and ashes… they’re like fallout clouds.
Watch him take a topic mighty proud and smash it.
And the way he weaves his syllables is… oh so cool, it’s fantastic.
Fans hang on his schemes like the Pied Piper leading rats upstream, they’re ecstatic.
Cos he’s match fit and fights on multiple fronts like a midfield general.
Spittin’ his ink extreme like the king of the sea.
His wordplay weaves around you like octopus tentacles.
So don’t anger him.
Or he’ll have you stumbling like a drunk that’s just learnt how to invent a fall.
You’ll clam up, forgetting rebuttals like you’ve gone and hit a wall.
Waiting your whole life to face him then choke and miss the call.
But don’t be miserable… when you’re clearly bound to fall, facing this devious wordsmith.
The speed at which he constructs his rhymes will have you baffled at times trying to decipher his verses.
And your fear, to him, is palpable.
So you play it cool, but it’s obvious to all your nervousness.
Maybe you should be more merciless, but you’re real scared.
One slip and you’ll be saying your final prayers.
Crying like a sucker come last at musical chairs.
Like a spouse playing house, caught in the middle of a sordid affair.
But who knows, maybe you’ll prevail.
You’ve been locked away for days now.
Penning a slow flow in your poetic jail.
Sweating devine rhymes, taking your time and all that entails.
Trying to act tough, but what you do is never enough.
And you just come across as pathetic and frail.
Cos right now… you’re real stale.
And all this does is make you feel pale.
But in battle you’ll get wasted.
That pasty face becoming your betrayal.
And the mountain you gotta climb to beat your nemesis, does not seem one you can easily scale.
Destiny, it would seem, would like you to fail.
Once there was a guy called Dave who was proper dangerous.
Approaching life’s problems he often came a cropper in a major rush.
Living each moment depraved, then one day he cracked and caved with little fuss.
Decidedly brave, he visited a shamen in the hope he could be saved.
And avoid an ignominious end in a shallow grave.
And there in the dark the shamen sat, fashioning cruel tools from a metal lathe.
Polishing a pile of small jewels wrapped in speckled chains.
Blowing thin smoke rings from a hookah in gentle waves.
Then, like a wretched knave, down sat Dave.
Soaked in sweat like a cheap chav’s aftershave.
Their chemistry was odd to see.
Something akin to master-slave.
Out of all the sorry cases, thought the shamen, Dave’s will be the last to save.
The kind of guy that sees a door closing, knows he won’t make it, but thinks ‘I’m gonna chance the gate.’
The kind of guy that misinterprets self-help books, sadly thinking ‘I’m going to make my mark today.’
Poor old Dave was as good as useless.
But the shamen sensed emotional bruises.
Mystery man Dave was pure pain and must be helped, no excuses.
So he broke out his tools and pills.
Lit candles for the walls and kicked back and chilled.
Then… in a madman’s wild rave began to slap childish Dave.
Getting all up in his grill.
At first he didn’t react.
He was brave and wanted to be saved.
Yet the darkness started to consume him in a haunted wave.
Sensing danger the shamen saw Dave’s true nature.
Then out the candles gave and his eyes went black and dark.
The shamen began to shake ashamed, thinking of the spells he cast.
He went to break away but Dave’s eyes glittered and held him fast.
Unfazed, he tried to match his gaze, brazen and as bold as brass.
But Dave the sinner became a black mirror, unrelenting and as cold as glass.
As Dave rose from his seat the shamen tried to lie through his teeth.
In an attempt to avoid what was about to pass.
But the magic man’s troubles were mounting fast.
Like a poker player counting cards he was riding his luck until the very last.
Cos here is where the shamen, a proper faker, came to his end and met his maker.
Some say he only tried to help Dave for the sake of it and was blameless.
Others say he was undone by both blindness and kindness.
Or that he failed to control the dark.
He just wasn’t decisive.
Whatever happened that tiring day a legend was born in the fiery fray.
Emerging from the rubble in a wiry way.
An animal no longer caged, but a beast that feasts on danger every day.
A heavenly creature, once a sad sack in pain but now the master and teacher.
Black eyes and twisted heart his least redeeming features.
For those that face him are thought either foolish or fearlessly brave.
Approach if you dare, the heart of darkness, that was once a man called Dangerous Dave.