This is the final instalment of the street writer column but…
If it goes well after this we will continue to write and publish these and talk more about my writing and the projects I am a part of in my present time.
So, let’s get on with the story!
I had the epiphany and revelation at Christmas in my 24th year.
I decided I would start going out as a full-time writer and I would strip away everything and everybody that didn’t need to be there.
In my first year I had no idea what I was doing but…
I did some acting in the past for a local college when they needed someone to help out and one of the tutors knew I wrote poems and stories.
He put me in touch with a couple of filmmaking students who needed a film for their coursework and he mentioned to them they could do a poetry film with me.
I wrote the script and discussed it with them and they loved it.
That’s where my first poetry film came from called ‘Little boy’.
After the first year of struggling I realised that Christmas – I need to get out and do every open mic night I could do and start sharing my work!
That was my entire second year – performing at every open mic night I could get my hands on in my own country in the north of Ireland.
I also wrote my second poetry film and pitched it to the first two filmmakers I worked with.
One of them wasn’t interested but the other one was ‘Graham Keys’
I made my second film called: This is my last poem…
And I got chosen to perform at my local music festival called: Stendhal.
Then; it was Christmas again and I met a guy called Michael Wilson and I asked him to help me out to put on a tour in Ireland and the UK!
The girl I was seeing at the time drove me up to Portstewart two days after Christmas Day and we started putting it together…
In my third year I performed as a headliner in: Derry, Belfast, Dublin, Cork and London!
I also wrote my third film: Mentally ill world find your soul!
After the tour I knew I needed something REALLY fucking big and then it hit me…
New York City!!!!
I put the feelers out and got accepted to do 5 minutes at the Nuyorican Poets Café open mic!!!!
New York was an incredible experience and I wrote my fourth film: Death to a young poet.
While I was performing poetry in all these big cities, my films were also getting screened in a mental health and arts film festival in Belfast.
Because the films were being accepted and screened I was asked in my fifth year at 29 years of age to do my own one man show for them in an arts and culture centre in Lisburn and I accepted.
I had worked with Graham on all four films but he left filmmaking to concentrate on other things, so I had to find someone to make a new film with.
I had met this other young guy through his poetry, but he was also a filmmaker and he had always wanted to work with me.
I wrote a poem called: A week you’ll never live with me…
And he wrote the screenplay for it.
I wanted this film to be ready for the show and it was.
In this small auditorium I did a live poetry reading in-between showing all my films, as well as premiering an EP I made with a local musician who loved my poetry.
He turned four of my poems into songs and did a backing track over me performing four of the poems.
We also premiered my solo EP based off my first proper poetry collection published by Excalibur Press.
After that 29th year I knew things were about to change…
I did so much in the five years I told you I would give myself and I was pretty proud of it, but at the same time fucked off with some of the failures…
But, I didn’t give up through any of this stupidity on my behalf!
I wanted to take a year off after fighting like a bitch on heat and that’s where I leave you now and say goodbye.
But, if this goes well I will be back to talk about my 30th year up until now.
It is a BIG change from those five poetry years.
But a god damn good change and I hope to share it with you!
Goodbye for now
Keep fucking WRITING!!!!
I think writing ruined me
It was the start of the weekend
I sat with a poet
Sipping on a double espresso
And laid out on the table was
Pens and an ashtray
When I left
I scooted over to a mental health charity shop
I picked up a classical record for a pound
A bit of Elgar
When I walked home I thought
What more does a poet need
Smoke simmering out of the ashtray
And music lighting up the room
I took a quick visit over to my grannies
My mum was with her
She looked very peaky
I walked over to the shop with her
As we stood at the cash machine
I told her of all my recent rejections
She started to spit and curse
I came back home
Had a few tins of beer
It was the best sleep I had in a week
The next day my mum came to visit
She looked much better
And we laughed at how much writing has ruined me
Later that evening I took a wank
I went for a piss after it
And as I closed my eyes
Aiming for the bowl
I could see her everywhere
Like the first signs of love
Coming into the night
I let the dog out
Lit up a cigarette
Looked across the street
It was going from blue to black
And the middle house
Of a semi-detached row
The smoke was reaching the heavens
And the streets were screaming out my memories
And then it dawned on me before I slept
That an artist is made up of reality with a hint of sensitivity
And as I lived the last day of the weekend
There may never be fame or love
As you live through the night
And maybe one day
It’ll be even greater than we thought it would be