Sex Sells (21/30)

Honey, we can make this beautiful!

Sure, it’ll take some work, anything worthwhile does.

Let’s plan out a campaign to romanticise the awful thing that happened.

Get it right and we can sell it to the world.

Our lives will still be a mess but we’ll be idols.

 

We’ll distort the reality of what happened to make millions;

with every purchase of our heavily edited, neat and tidy trauma

you will receive an exclusive pair of rose tinted glasses,

a perfume bottle packed with our scent the night it happened

(spray it on yourself for the illusion of understanding)

and last but certainly not least;

signed photographs from us, the stars!

 

Pay extra and we’ll record a personalised cassette tape

detailing our suffering, fear and anxiety about the situation

so you too can put yourself in the mindset of a survivor!

It’s an offer you simply cannot refuse!!

 

Huh, how apt.

 

-A.Webb (first draft)

Permission Slip (19/30)

I’m working on taking what I’ve been given,

no second guesses, no ‘are you sure?’s,

just bold assumptions that if someone is offering,

I’m okay to take.

My needs aren’t always an inconvenience.

People offer so I can have,

it isn’t some test they’ve put in place.

I won’t fail if I accept them,

it’s okay to take support, help, guidance.

I’m teaching myself to feed on kindness,

to stop second guessing intentions,

instead to just enjoy the feast

Starving yourself of goodwill won’t help,

you’ll still be hungry for help,

you’ll always need nutrition.

It is not a sin to eat at your table.

 

Do you remember when you used to have seconds?

Waited eagerly for the dish to pass you by again,

excited for another chance to enjoy the meal.

When they stopped calling you a ‘growing boy’,

when you lost explicit permissions to take what you needed

you taught yourself to survive on scraps.

You’re running on empty.

This is your permission slip to keep eating,

enjoy the flavours – it’s an experience after all.

Take what you are given,

a bold assumption that when someone offers

you are okay to take it.

Sit, eat, you look hungry.

Enjoy the feast you made yourself.

 

-A.Webb (first draft)

Back-seat Driver 18/30

I try to go for a drive to clear my mind.

Something is wrong – I can feel it hanging over me:

an overbearing mother forcing me into the same old coat

that I don’t like, that doesn’t fit me properly anymore,

‘IT’S NOT EVEN MY STYLE ANYMORE MUM!

That’s the old me!!’

That analogy might be a bit heavy handed but it’s accurate:

today I woke up as me trying to put old me on against my better judgment.

It’s not that I don’t want old me back

it’s more that our relationship has always been rocky,

he steered me towards… questionable decisions,

bad habits, unreliable friendships.

The road was never all that smooth with him,

it’s not perfect now my any means,

at least there’s no huge, looming pot holes for me to get stuck in though.

I want to stay on this road,

I don’t need those unwieldy country roads anymore.

 

So, how do I get back on track?

How do I shut up the back-seat driver?

 

I pull over into a lay-by and suggest we go for a walk and chat

‘listen, I know you’ve been here longer than me,

I know you’re just trying to help but I’m on a new route now.

I need to focus on that so buckle up, I hope you enjoy the ride

but now it’s my turn to drive’.

 

-A.Webb (first draft)

Food for the soul (17/30)

I’ve swallowed my fire

since the day I was born.

 

I learnt that my silence

would avoid mother’s scorn.

 

The temperature’s rising

fuelled by words that I mourn.

 

If I dare release it,

will it leave me forlorn?

 

I’ve swallowed my fire

since the day I was born.

 

I’ve kept it inside me,

now my body is worn.

 

Could I really free it?

My frame breaking, I’m torn

 

The fire keeps burning

ending friendships I’ll mourn.

 

I’ve swallowed my fire

since the day I was born.

 

I did so to spread lies

on a world I’ll adorn.

 

-A.Webb (first draft)

Save File 01 (16/30)

She tears away the packaging,

loads the game into her system,

turns the power on

readying herself for adventure.

 

The console bleeps into life,

lights in that stark, blueish glow.

It’s like staring into a box of memories,

being sucked through a timewarp.

 

The main menu is loading…

loading…. loading… done.

Theme tune starts to play,

a fanfare into another world.

 

Important choices as the game begins

her character needs the perfect name.

What title suits this heroine? This warrior?

What name has she always wanted?

 

She spawns amongst her new family,

looks around her house, she likes it.

The door is calling out to her,

she is ready to conquer the world.

 

-A.Webb (first draft)

May I have this dance? (15/30)

“Thanks for asking!

I can’t dance.

No, you don’t understand –

I’m not just the white guy at the party,

I’m the white guy at this party.

 

The I-didn’t-know-someone-could-be-that-off-beat white guy.

I’m being serious,

it’s as if my hips were possessed at a young age,

and I’m still trying to exorcise the demon

that made it possible to be quite this bad at moving my body.

 

I’m the I-give-up-you-literally-have-no-rhythm white guy.

Sure, I can clap along to music,

I can even bop in time (sometimes).

give me dance moves? Give me… choreography?!

Ha! Not a chance sister,

I’m not a ‘running man’ kinda man,

I’m more of a ‘slow and unsteady might finish the race but

will probably sprain their ankle’ man.

 

I mean, none of that stops me trying.

I can’t dance, I’ve accepted it

even though I’ve tried and tried,

what I do? It’s more post-dance performance.

Imagine I’m from a time after the dance apocalypse

all the moves are forgotten:

the potato got a little overmashed,

the harlem shook too much and

the twist got tangled.

Whilst I’m doing my best to figure them out

I’m still at a stage where I’m performing them all at once

in an effort to work out what’s time warp and what’s stanky leg.

 

So no but thanks for asking, it’s very kind of you!

In the interest of your safety,

wellbeing and general sanity

I’ll have to decline – I won’t have this dance.

keep it. At least you’ll leave here in one piece.”

 

-A.Webb (first draft)