Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Skateboarder...

A Skate Park, Violence and a Decade of Growth...

It’s been a decade since the skate park in Hemel Hempstead was built.  Let me expand on that; it’s been a decade since the skate park that my friends and I spent nearly a decade campaigning and raising money for got built!
Well it’s actually over a decade, just.  Which means it’s over a decade, just, since I got my ass kicked.  Which means it’s over a decade, just, since I got my ass kicked and woke up the next day and wrote ‘Two Inches to the Right’  It took nearly a decade to finally raise enough money and secure the support of my local council, much longer than my friend Paul McKeown and I ever envisaged!  We even got on the BBC. 

When the day came to open the skate park we’d organized a huge event; bands, DJ’s, competitions, BBQ and it was (on the whole), a huge success!  By the time a very drunk ‘me’ was attacked it was the early morning and, not one to go into detail, I was lucky.  I went down with a thud and someone spotted the attack, managed to drag an unconscious ‘me’ out of danger, whilst a group of friends fought off my attackers.  My savior on the night went on to head up one of the UK’s biggest punk bands in decades but lets not deviate from the story.  Either way, I was OK, not mentally, but physically, a few cuts (head wounds always look a lot worse than they are), and bruises but I was OK.

The next morning I was sat at home on my couch with a hangover, a small head wound and a bruised ego.  I was feeling far from happy, a little scared, a little sad, a little relieved, the happiness of the previous morning was currently suppressed.  I grabbed a marker pen, a random A3  canvas, and wrote ‘Two Inches to the Left’ (its original title).  It came out in one sitting, no rewrites, no drafts, just straight onto the canvas in thick black marker pen, it was therapeutic.  It took me a while to get over being attacked, but what grew from that negative experience led me to so much!  Weirdly writing that, led to me experimenting with different styles, different topics and falling deeper in love with spoken word.  It helped push me forward in both my writing and in life!  Whilst the immediate experience ‘sucked’, what became of that incident had nothing but a positive effect on my life.  I have performed that poem at festivals, colleges and even the Jazz Café in Camden to a packed house and in 2010 I worked with Matt Frodsham to put out an official video:

The video has since been featured on a lot of websites, in a lot of magazines and continues to rack up views on VIMEO (where is recieved a STAFF PICK), and just recently I was asked at a Ghost Poet gig; “Are you the writer of Two Inches to the Right”?  Not bad considering you don’t actually see me in the video.  I’m just happy that people have seen it, I’m just happy that I was able to write it, I’m just happy I was able to take a negative experience and use it to create so much positivity.  So too the people who attacked me, who potentially could have ruined such a positive day…thanks, you helped shape my future, one that became pretty awesome!

PS.   ‘Two Inches to the Right’ has been added to the curriculum in Canada and to some classes in Australia, as a foot note I’d like to apologize to the students, no one wants to be that guy who you are forced to study!  

That  said when you are free from class, GO SKATEBOARDING!!!

Share this:


    Blogger Comment


Post a Comment