Some things

baby

My gruff and indistinct words

bare the mark of resentful lungs

that hate me evermore as I take another drag

on what’s left of my cigarette.

I’m lost to a familiar bliss

and am momentarily out of mind,

vacant to social taboos

that would have otherwise prevented me

from blowing smoke into a child’s face.

She was crying now

I’d need another cigarette.

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Birth Experiences

Written for NCT’s The Stork July 2015

After finding out we were having a baby 6 months into the pregnancy, we put together a birthing plan and read everything we could to prevent any more surprises – all the good that did…

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I say ‘we’. Nicole did all the hard work. I was there to offer love and support, to be a calming presence. So when she awoke one night feeling nauseous and the midwife advised over the phone to get some sleep, I led by example whilst she lay restless. Some brownie points lost there.

A week had passed since our due date so the bags were ready by the door and we had ourselves a plan. Once I was awake and making myself useful it became a matter of waiting it out. Warned that many people rush in too early and find themselves waiting at the hospital for hours– we thought it best to wait it in the comfort of home.

Nicole powered through and I stood idly by for near 6 hours before the contractions became more regular and intense. Arriving at the hospital we crossed the path of a new family who looked to us with a knowing smile.

We were in Triage at 6am, the few nurses there were very casual, too calm, they had seen this a thousand times before. We were moved into a small adjoining side room where a young nurse asked questions to a now groaning and breathless Nicole, pacing around the room . The next nurse laid Nicole down to examine our progress when she shot us a look of surprise: we might have to have the baby here – in this small unequipped side room.

Nicole manages to find enough breath to muster the words “pain relief”. Evidently it was too late. I start to panic a little though I daren’t show it as I know how precious Nicole can be and how low her pain threshold is.

I held close to the nurse and Nicole as she was rushed to the ward in a wheelchair, ‎now safely in the care of the mid-wife and with the promised god-send of Gas and Air. Clamped down in-between her teeth I watched Nicole transform, I witnessed her eyes widen, her pain dissipate as she finally relaxed. This meant that I could relax. Until the pushing began.

Nothing is harder than seeing the person you love in pain, knowing that you are powerless and there is nothing you can do to help. I became Nicole’s stress ball as she clenched my hand and gave her first push. “He has his father’s hair”, the words of the mid-wife as I steal the first look at my son with a full head of jet black hair. A few pushes later and finally we were all together. I was truly humbled by how Nicole had handled everything.

We were in the delivery room for around two hours – turns out Nicole was already fully dilated when we arrived. After cutting the cord and taking in the sight of my new family, I was then handed my son whilst some reparations were made.  I was uneasy, nervous but overcome with a sense of pride, and as I sat there with him for around half an hour, all my concerns dissolved and his eventual calmness transferred to me.

On our way out of the hospital the next morning we pass a quiet, heavily pregnant woman beside her doting, helpless partner. We wish them luck and the cycle continues.

Nepotista: A prediction

Kanye has spawned a child giving her literal direction in name – carved an image and hatched to a vision of fame.

Manifesting as an extension of her father’s ego, so wherever they point the cameras that’s where we’ll go

we push our noses to the window and tweet from on the grapevine – the culture of celebrity has dispensed with the divine.

we offer them praise but scrutinise them for their flaws, we concede that we will never be them and yet ache for something more

we are empty. we are void.

Our conception of contentment has been distorted and destroyed.

so as long as there’s a stage and the little girl sings

we’ll watch her come apart with her waxy wings

like Will Smith’s kids who stand tall on family wealth,

the wind in Willow’s hair as she whips it back and forth,

we are promised a life in the spotlight of baby girl North.

Likewise

we can think it likely that she will take to music

surrounded by connections, a captive audience and those hungry to capitalise..

The cracks can be painted over now that music is digitised

an auto-tuned lullaby lamenting the day the music died.

Rappers have a tendency to talk about their names

a customised title that speaks to character

both a badge and a facade that divides the person from persona.

A disguise known better than the person inside.

A broken mask and a blurred line.

she is a product, a brand and an opportunity.

she is stock, venture capital,

grabbing attention, gaining interest

nevertheless expect the debut solo: North by North West

The Message in the Medium

Seeing that there was a 35mm screening of Casablanca in the local independent theatre, I suited up and dragged a couple of friends along, insisting that they dress up to respect the film. I did not regret this decision when we walked into the auditorium to find a silver haired audience all in finest regale. Unlike the rest of the audience, who would mouth the words along and laugh together in expectation, my guests hadn’t seen the film before and so they were understandably devastated when in the dying moments of the film, Humphrey Bogart poised on the runway, the picture burned hot white and split across on the screen. I had only seen something like this in Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

gremlins

The projectionist came down to explain that a lot of restoration had to be done to get the print to work in the first place and that it was now irretrievable. A collective groan escaped the crowd, and as my friends sat there sullen, saying that we would need to find it online, an elderly gentleman wearing a wide grin leant over from the row behind. “A lot of films used to end like that when I was your age. You know, it happened when I watched this film! And we didn’t have a way of finding out what happened..”. In one fell swoop the romanticism had been restored by this mystical figure. This was truly a spectacle. (more…)

For my love

jump for joy

jump for me

(I like to watch people jump

just as much as joy)

jump to hell and back

jump helen of troy

jump helen mirren

beside helena bonham carter

jump queen to jump jack after

jump helen keller

she won’t know

plus no-one could tell her

jump cinderblocks

jump cinderella

jump with one shoe to lost property

jump the queue to the vip

jump jack flash

dance jump style

jump ship

jump around

jump up jump out

and get drowned

I’ll jump out and find somewhere to park

don’t jump the gun or

jump the shark

the waters not cold

just jump in

white men can’t jump

black men can’t swim

jump out of your chair

jump out of your skin

jumping in at number one

is jump by van halen

Africa

the chicken gets off the bus and crosses the road

rosa parks on a double yellow and gets her car towed

mario’s peachy by the smell of his clothes

after sitting on a pin mary rose declared she was off to rome

all roads lead there but there’s no place like home

so if you get homesick and want to get home quick

follow the road made of yellow brick

mind the little monkeys with wings

you’re best off with the munchkins

in case you didn’t know though

they’re getting paid less than toto

so a tip would go far

god bless you sir

and the rain that falls in africa

Taxi

I found Jesus.

or should I say

I caught him.

red handed

red footed

red headed

red backed.

red all over

hanging from a crucifix

having just been lashed.

he looked tired

but still wore his little hat.

bless him

forgive him

hail him

like a cab.

he’ll give you a lift

and carry you across.

he’ll die for your sins

and so will always be on top.

we will have no choice

but simply begin in his debt

so best you sin

to make the deal worth it.