Tag Archives: Men

Re: Definition?

I’m not the kind of man that can have his manhood away, Jamie Neville, fellow cast member.

Although my body no longer feels the emotional weight of a week of shows, I find my mind is still processing it all. It is still at the checkout scanning everything on the conveyor belt and counting the cost.

Now that I’ve cross-examined masculinity and mental health, what do the words “Man Up” mean? The negative association it had has been vanquished by virtuous relationships. Machismo is no longer the main mode, nor is there shame or intentional repression.

Maybe I was privileged to have encountered so many genuine people at once. Maybe it’s the post-show comedown. What I do know is that there is hope. Man Up is a statement of encouragement to be open and honest with yourself. It is a smoke signal for friendship and fostering positive behaviours. It is men recognising that they are not alone or other men cannot be their best selves alone. To hear those words is to tell someone that you’re ready to serve them, to support them.

I could argue whether the phrase should still exist, I won’t because I know it will outlive me. This phrase is a statement of your attitude and intent.

If I’m committed to using what I’ve learned then I will listen without judgement. I hope to understand the journey and help you along the way. Maybe we’ll see the finish line together. Are you ready for that level of vulnerability? Can your ego and prejudice stand down to help a man up?

If you’re the kind of man that can’t have his manhood taken away, your actions will answer the questions. I live in hope.

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Filed under Just Living

All Good Things

The piano tinkled one last time as a man mountain of hugs closed the final show. A stream of tears became a Mexican tidal wave that overtook us all. Grown men sobbing publicly without fear or thought to what any of the audience may think. It was real, for all of us.

We had worked with each other, for each other, we loved and laughed, we embraced as we grafted and crafted something special. We hoped that it was impactful whilst entertaining. For many of the 600 or so that came, this was essential viewing.  A conversation on masculinity and mental health has well and truly been started, how far could it go?

When the last drop of celebratory beers had been drunk, and the last of our multiple hugs had finished, each of us returned home to face the reality of life outside the bubble of a performance. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I didn’t know how to feel. For all my emotional intelligence and self-awareness I was numb. I knew I’d grown but I didn’t know how. I was exhausted and fragile yet strengthened by the experience.

As I write this, I don’t know how I’ve grown personally, maybe I’ve grown as an artist. I remember the first performances where I messed up lines but got through my solo in the show. That started an incredible mental battle that I had to overcome. Slow down so that every line can have the impact you want it to, was the message from the directors.   I duly started my piece in 1st gear rather than 3rd and found a groove that allowed me to shine. Word perfect and performances 3 – 5 got better each time. Some said they saw me grow through each one.

Some have said they’ve learned a lot from me, again I don’t know what. So I ask myself what is the legacy of Man Up for me? Perhaps it’s relationships.

Throughout my life, I didn’t have many deep connections with the males, one every blue moon at best. The connections I had were generally social and rarely along meaningful lines. Ultimately they’d fizzle and I’d be left to fend for myself. As the weeks pass, I intend to build even deeper personal connections with the family or UpMen as we called ourselves. If brotherly love must continue, being intentional is necessary.

“Yes I’m a mess but I’m blessed to be stuck with you…”

Thank you, Paul & Clare, for your direction and process of co-creation, thank you Up Men for your love for this overthinking wordsmith. We have redefined the words Man Up in a positive way. Let’s build.

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Filed under Just Living

Down Day

Image result for feeling down

 

They say men are made from stuff women aren’t.

Stronger hands, harder hearts

You can take a beating and dare not flinch

The measure of man’s tiers found in grit not ink.

 

He’s made of wildest dreams and infinite schemes

A man is built to last.

He can plot a tree and chop down forests.

Just women’s ages he dare not ask.

 

A man should have money, a man should have style.

A man commands the stage.

Men have no fear, knows lust not love.

Being a MAN is all the rage.

 

So why do good ones fall and bad ones rise?

Is it safe to even ask?

Is it weak to cry, will he be despised?

Is it wise to be about that?

 

I’m drowning in supposed to be.

What I’m not has been my yoke.

If I’m a man or so I claim will my man card be revoked?

 

I guess I’ll hang from ropes you beat me with.

My failures and dented pride.

When love is lost we count the cost.

No hope and suicide.

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Filed under Just Living, Random Poetics

Paper Thin Walls

paper thin walls
Paper thin walls
They keep mixing colours
Blending her out
On those paper thin walls
Paper can’t cover the cracks
On those paper thin walls
A doodle draws a whimper
The thought of making murals musters mournful murmurs from those paper thin walls

Passed around like a guest book at a funeral
The feeling fading as they drive away
The whitewash isn’t cleansing
A broken slate is never wiped clean
She is only 15
Miss Paper Thin Walls

Laying bricks, roofless
All her rocks are demons dancing in the sea of safety
Her will shredded like leaked script pages
She’s an over plucked daisy
On her knees she a dress maker seeking out hope like a lost sequin
Wondering where was God when man destroyed the self she’d believed in

Miss Paper Thin Walls pores over scattered bricks
From the many times her box has been ticked she’s an exam in herself
Exiled from affection, ignoring the laws of attraction.
Hands that reach her are fractured to heal her scars
When she’s fully built she may be chasing cars
For now…..she’s in thrall to the casket of cat calls
These travails are an ailment of which no ointment can heal
When she’s fully built she’ll bruise the serpent’s head and heal
She’ll no longer be Miss Paper Thin Walls

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Filed under Society

Acquainting The Bustle

She is the kind of girl to flash you and walk away
A tease
The kind that sit on the corner of your memory
Persistent , she won’t go away
She comes back in the weird places
Similar napkins ,she jotted her number on
The alcohol store you pass on the way home
That reminder
3 a.m. ten flights of stairs
She fell down
Bleeding in the backseat of the car
As she repeated that drunk girl mantra
I am just an ugly soul
Homicidal death threats to herself
You sit there wondering how
This beautiful flower has so many thorns
As her soul shreds you to pieces
Your only release is
That sad jazz melody
Playing over and over
Drowning out her memory
Her voice
You sink into your bed
Hug the loneliness
Yet her scent is in the air

I hung
Heart bigger than how
I’m hung,
Sniggers like nuts in snickers
Get under my skin and clutch triggers
You are all I need
Worth more than all I have
Less than perfect is the perfect I want
Yet you set your camps intents
Intense like maroon dessert sands
Your mantra is no more tantric
Than rancid Kcufing with your mind
My blood curdles like milk because I’ve been burned by the cow
Get off the steps of my memory and marry me
I’ll soak up your blood with my ivory and call it the path to never forgetting

This is a crime of passion that I’m aiding and abetting
Walk with me now, I’ll hug your loneliness
We can be the ish
Make me your only mess
Yes you are the girl who is prone to tease
But I am your cross and Yogi wont bare me

Impregnate me with your sins and I will bare them all

Pews made of cotton sheets

I genuflect

As I confess

I still need him

I need him to be more then a few faded memories

As I clutch to whiskey bottle

Screams bouncing off walls not in ecstasy

Silent hymns

More mourning then hallelujah’s

I feel the distance

More then your warmth

My walls may keep me secure

Yet the door can be opened

For the right price

How much are you willing to offer your heart back

When I already have it in my firm grasp

I am not the queen of hearts

Just good at breaking them

Yet i am also good at taking them

She said a diva is a female version of a hustler
In the worlds oldest profession who can really rustle her?
She be, on her grind, grinding, make up to wake up
How do you spell binding….P.I.M..P
Got the goods for take up.
Spread her rug for sale in minute or hourly turns
As she digs in her nails, ain’t only his pocket that burns
Make music and clap to it,
Half what he earns
How many halves make a whole girl?
Just the ones taking his sperms
She’s on her grind because a diva is a female version of a hustler

Crack for her crack because the rough stuff hurts
All she wants is a lover man not a brother from the corner
He got a nose for the cooking and only wants to put it on her
Big Black, China white, Charlie and Daddy
Bruises for excuse why she wouldn’t bareback gladly
She will happily bivouac, he just wants to beaver wack.
Till she met You yet you’re too nice to be with that
She has a history, a litany of misery, yet You ….
Want to unlock the prison and make her the captain of your mill

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Filed under Collaborations

Lady not a Woman

Subscribe to junk male, they get junk males, then junk males because they want a man with all the tools not drunk nails.
Dressed like hello kitty make it quack, give up duck tails, having a party for your pit, no more drive, ruck fails.
Mind in the box, nobody listens, hard walls. Reality’s a foreign sport, odd ball, their onboard with mogwai, bandwagon.
No man is an island but woman shouldn’t be, another, whole, enough to keep her flag in, stead of his

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Filed under Just Living

B.A.Nning Order

Still by my skin tone I should have a sports team or a ring tone

Yet for years I was skin and bone because I walked to work unable to afford the bus home

But I am not your broke ass negro

When it comes to relations I’ve been alone

Disowned by my own

Made to feel a sell out because I didn’t buy into narrow minded sing-a-longs

I like chocolate vanilla and cinnamon

But I am not your broke ass negro

The walls are speaking I feel them breathing

My life leaves some grieving about underachievement

I’ve had to patch and weave things to survive and feed me

They snipe and lead me like a big cat to the Zambezi

Try to drown me in comparison, liken me to Audley Harrison

But I am not, your broke ass negro

I am not your broke ass negro I am that brother fighting to live

Not your gym class hero, just a lover dying to give

My equities zero but I’m nouveau riche

Just capitalist minds won’t measure me on the populist list

Yet I seek to better me

Some just want a better me, while others try to feather me

Tickle my ego, stick in the needle be infused with my substance as here we go

Get off on my supply and leave me to die,

A reluctant broke ass negro

If I was broke I’d be dead but my heart is still beating

I’ve taken some beating but this egg will be an omelette when it’s done heating

See along the way I’ve had to go to some wild places and gain some flavours

I’ve had to up my skill level, change some behaviours

I’m aware of my flaws I want to be loved for my plus points

Instead of being derided for being an urban myth, a great man that never wasr

Don’t take this as unsubstantiated moans cause

I’ve learned to be patient but I wont tolerate the

Lack of respect for the struggles I face the, position in my race

In my lane I keep the pace

I’m not working at your favourite pizza place

I’m not sitting on my backside with 4 kids by 3 women playing Xbox

I’m not hustling my number none hit at the train station with the immortal question

Yo blood, do you like hip hop

I respect the hustle and I don’t feel a hero

But I’ve got 2 degrees with the strength to keep knocking on the door of a career so don’t you dare label me a broke ass negro

Don’t say it with your eyes, with your heart, with any of your body language

I want to be able to do more than treat myself to a subway sandwich

See I’ve planned my years around career progression

Avoided holidays like science homework then we’ve hit recession

Hit the rocks of stress but never sunk into depression

So to the guys with relatives who say when folk ask what you do – don’t tell them

To the guys that work hard and don’t get the recognition they deserve I hope you have or find someone that makes you happy and helps you be your best

To the guys that regardless of how hard life hits them they get up strengthened

Hear my expression and adopt or lengthen

I am not your broken negro

You need to mend your ego, give it an abortion

I refuse to be a broken man, I strive for bigger portions

For I AM ME

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Filed under Race