Rollin’ In My Pimped-Up Time Machine

My engine is primed – the margin is narrow
I drive my pimpmoblie the wrong way
up the one way street we call time’s arrow
to me at fourteen with something to say
about reading books or my computer screen
or my attempts to look without being seen?
These things don’t matter
they’re not general boy’s chatter
they’re not TV, football or violence
Why not just sit here in silence?
But I was never one to think before I spoke
I would teeter on the brink of being a joke
saved by a brain that’d sometimes produce wit
or intelligence, but my peers didn’t give a shit
unless it was a yo-mamma joke or snide remark directed
at a teacher – or self-mockery for fear of being rejected
It occurs to me now that it was considered cool
to use spoken word as an expressive tool
among young rappers in the burgeoning grime scene
but I was about as gangsta as burgundy is lime-green
But I could have just picked it up from my environment – in retrospect
and moulded my youth around rap in a vain attempt to get respect

Heading for East London in 2004
give a young me advice
thought I really wanted to do so much more
this’ll have to suffice
It was the most tough of decisions
I really wanted to drop in on Chaucer
tell him of post-structuralism
and the death of the author
And after that – feck it
give antidepressants
to Samule Beckett

Hello little man whom I used to be
reeling from an Injury called puberty
life doesn’t seem viable
not even liable to try at all
wishing your parents used contraception more reliable
than withdrawal: coitus interruptus
but we can’t let self-pity interrupt us
Just lie – saying your parents continue the tradition
and why – because they bang on your door
while you’re in a compromising position
on your bedroom floor
with the sket next door

Let’s practice – shall we?

inner-city youth for two years
gonna’ spit truth for all ears
blazing marijuana in my pyjamas watching batman
while peeling a banana – yeah I cotch like a badman
I don’t blaze to escape the crushing banality
the squalor and stress of urban reality
and never to quell my social anxiety
It’s a spiritual ting – so suck on my piety

Now that we’ve flexed
our verbal muscle what next
A superfluous verse
far from terse
where we nurse
our ego with superlatives
and inflate our self-worth
’till it’s likely to burst
tempting – yes
but let’s try the alternatives

Hard to give form
to me and you
in rhyme
when we’re torn
in two
by a gulf of time
What can we do with this
Let us try a new tack
remove our differences
and see what’s still intact

Left bereft except
for a fear of theft
GBH and assault
unable to brawl
unable to bolt
we stall and we fall
and it’s somehow our fault

“What you got for me – bruv?”
Let me see – bruv
I’ve got page upon page
of repressed rage
scrawled down from a young age
pacing my flesh cage
Looking for an outlet
You hear that strange sound?
I think I’m breaking out – lets
go to some waste-ground
where you’ll meet my gaze
through the midday heat’s haze
Then you’ll glance
back at the fence we slipped through
Now’s my chance
I reach my hand down into
the scrub and long grass
and grab an old brass
pipe – swinging it in a wide arc
it collides making a loud sharp
metallic crack – you start to sway
and fall with a dull thud
Wolf-like – I bare my teeth and bay
because I can smell blood

I swagger over to meet
you as you stagger to your feet
and beat
you to a pulp
watching you gulp
on teeth from your gums
and blood from your tongue
like warm salty spunk
from your dad when he’s drunk
Your mouth’s hanging open
like I’m telling a joke and
you’re waiting for the punchline
Wake up in a months time
sill supine – this time on a hospital bed
staring blankly – whimpering – nodding your head
and your mother’s crying
you’re a mewling retard
“You looked fine until
you started drooling sweetheart”

Now let’s practice our diction
Yeah I know that’s a “posh word”
my social background
pops back up like a flushed turd

I’m not writing fiction It’s not diction
It’s slang – I’m not prang
that you’ll think I have no authenticity
because I wasn’t born in this city
and ‘caus I don’t roll with a gang
white as chalk tryna’ talk like I’m black
Think I might baulk at my lack
of melanin – no – too much adrenalin – too busy telling them
that my rhymes are tight – and they’ll never unravel ‘caus
I’m down with the kids like the late Jimmy Savile was
I set the buffest trends in the roughest endz
you can ask my friends but that depends
Do you really want to risk a brisk stroll
through a grey and abrasive shit-hole
that’ll choke you down and rope you in
It makes Beasley Street look utopian


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