Poem #6

Held like an unexploded bomb

At full arms stretch

a threat that must be neutralised

Restrained, Contained

A wild cat in need of neutering

A small unknowable thing

At both the centre and the edge of it all

The burning episcentre and a bit part player in the story of your own life

Unsure if you’re the factory floor

Or the silent partner haunting the halls at the top of the tower

Like a bad tempered Repunzal

After countless calls to let down her hair

she cuts it all off

Content to cocoon in her seclusion

This is a coffin or a chrysalis

For eithers sake

a prison break of sorts

The Once In A Lifetime Offer: A Treatise On The Industry Myth

As an artist you HAVE to believe that your body of work has an Intrinsic value in the face of figures and paperwork to the contrary. It is so hard to approach meetings, offers and negotiations knowing that nothing on paper apparently supports this notion.

It’s a struggle and I struggle with it but if you yourself can’t retain the notion that your entire life’s work has a value and potential to grow beyond its humble position it will simply be impossible to convince a prospective investor that it does.

Remember that YOU have been investing in it for years and at the point you wish to decline an offer in the hope of better you will almost certainly be told by someone that this is risky. It is risky but so is ploughing every ounce of your time, energy and available funds into it. You’ve already done that bit, the hard bit, this is simply holding your nerve.

Half the industry runs on that fear, that this is the best you can expect out of it, so stick, don’t twist and don’t shout. Not everyone is trying to drive down price in concern of nothing but the bottom line. But EVERYONE will tell you they are in it for the music, this will only be true in certain cases and you have to get good at spotting bullshit when you see it.

I’ve never believed in the elusive and intangible “x-factor” nor do I believe that you get your “one moment”. This is the weaponisation of fear, if you’re talented and worked hard enough to earn an opportunity the chances are that isn’t the only opportunity you’ll ever be offered, it doesn’t work like that. If you haven’t had any yet well then there are likely to be a few around the corner or down the line or along the road or whatever your favourite analogy is. 

People in this industry predominantly back a winning horse, most wait for it to be within a hair’s breadth of the finish line before lending their support to it. This is the most infuriating bind of the whole thing in my opinion. That the universal perception of your imminent winning then makes it all the more inevitable and conversely the widespread perception that you are still many yards from the line makes it all the more so.

You kind of need that one influential person to inadvertently misread the figures and correctly or incorrectly (not a distinction worth making) identify you as this year’s grand national favourite to win and thus it may well be so.

The only winning tactics are perseverance and self belief as I can see it. The rest is time and luck, neither of which can be controlled or circumvented. So you can go to a million masterclasses on social media strategy and all the workshops on co-writing, collaboration and creative collectives but it’s a waiting game. Like most things in life what you really need is confidence, hope and patience.

So it’s a thanks but no thanks this time from me, I’m waiting for a better offer than that…

Jx  

#4 Final Words

Let this be the final time you steal the very words from my mouth

For now you must make your own sound in the dark

And the hallowed other ground be yours alone

To make of what you will

And still remain the memory

Of all you used to take from me

# 3

I try to remember clearly

That when all my walls were falling apart

We went to fly a kite

The winds were gusty that day but you kept it off the ground

Untangled and afloat

You were no master but with diligence,

a certain flair

A careful sequence of minute corrections learning as you went

How to manage thin air

#2 Commodity and Access

Commodity and access

You’ve come to move me around

My unmanageable, malleable demeanour

Predictably, difficulty direct

In all it’s acerbic assurance

Displeasing unreasonablenesses

Why won’t I submit

Learn some willingness

Still persisting in this path of pertinaciousness

“Take us to the light, make it alright

Do the fighting for us

Too lucky in your blessings

Too assured and you’re forgetting

You’re just commodity and access”

Poem #1

You can speak and speak

Find all your fancy ways to frame the words

But beyond the fourth wall no one is listening

Many meanings can be gleaned from the tracks of the train of your thought

You could kill yourself

trying to be understood

They can still lay the lines to bind it into lying

And you won’t even know yourself

any more

You’re too old to hold such grudges

too young to let them go

But can you be bold enough to hold your tongue this time ?

To let it all be and leave only love behind

To bend to the sway of the trees and to the warmth of the sun

And one day when you wake up with no words at all

have you lost

or have you won?