I'd like to speak about something that has helped me through many years of isolation, and that is poetry. I wrote my first poem at 17yrs, during my stay at Kingfisher Square, (the authority run home). Ever since the age of thirteen, I'd become convinced that I was going to become a famous punk rock singer, and was desperate to write original songs which would smack people in the face. I wanted to shock, offend, and humiliate my future followers. But my delusions of becoming the next Johnny Rotten were not to be, (not for another 16 years anyhow).
This Is For "Les"; For Showing me A Way
One of the staff, a guy I called, "Les", in the book, explained to me after reading my lyrics, that my writing was very poetic, and he believed that I should shift to a career as a writer rather than songwriting. Well, you can imagine my response; I flew off the handle at him, taking his suggestion as a personal insult. But the seed had been planted in my head, and I just couldn't shake it.
I used to stay up quite late back then, often as a result of some sort of chemical I'd taken during the day. On one of these such nights, when no one else was around, I decided to write a poem. The end result was shocking. I read it back to myself a few times, before thinking to, "Wow!" It was fantastic. I don't recall thinking about what I was writing, it just sort of happened. This poem has stayed with me for many years, (I did include it in my book, but it is a revised edition).
Who Am I? (original: Early 1986 approx)
Am I the same as you?
When will I die?
there are so many questions,
Tell me, who am I?
I think all the time,
So many things I try,
Shadows hold me back,
Tell me, who am I?
The years seem to go,
They really start to fly,
But still I do not know,
Please tell me, who am I?
I need to find a future,
So I can smile again,
Throw away my chains,
And find out who I am.
By the time the morning arrived, I had written close on a dozen poems, and I couldn't wait for Les to arrive for his shift, pouncing on him as soon as he walked through the door. He was pleased that I'd taken his advice, and told me to send them to the local paper, which ran a poets corner once a week.
I sent them a batch of 11....... and they published 9!
Since then, I have always written poetry; using it as my outlet for pent up emotions. I can't honestly say its helped me every time, but for the most part it has. And if I'm honest, I think that it was then that Losing the Hate, was truly born, even though I didn't realise it until 2003, over a decade later.