Street writer part fifteen – Learning to Be a Poet


I’m taking the example for this article from a time in my life I am not very proud of when I look back at it, like watching a girlfriend walking out your door and you know her beauty is never going to walk through that door again.

There was one time in my life where I was learning to be a street fighter.

I spent more or less four years in that game.

It all started from bullying and egos.

I remember a primary school teacher hitting me on the head with a large dictionary and it put the fear of god in me and I was scared to go to school because of that incident.

I was scared of him.

There was another guy where I lived who was seen as a bully and he threatened my sister one time and I walked out to confront him but I just froze when he said ‘what ya gonna do about it boy?’

Eventually a skater friend of mine when I was in high school fell out with me (I found out it was over girls in the end) and he used to try and entice me into a fight but I just couldn’t do it (even when his older brother threatened me).

The BIG event that got me the most was the carnival fight…

There was a guy who lived in my hometown who just did not like me at all (even though he didn’t even know me properly)…

He just disliked me!

I was at our local carnival one night and I was talking to an ex-girlfriend’s mother and as I walked out he was drunk with his boys. As I walked away when he caught my eye – he walked up to me and sprayed beer in my face and I continued to walk on. As I walked away all I heard from across the road was a young female voice shouting ‘PAUL!’ – I turned around and he was in the air trying to kick me like he was Jackie Chan – I grabbed him by the shoulders and told him I didn’t want to hit him – then one of his boys hit me with a WKD bottle and I thought it was him so I smacked him with one right hook and he went down. Next thing I knew I had all of his friends grabbing me and trying to take a chunk out of me. Eventually I slipped through them and got free and I ran home. As I stood at my bedroom window and looking for revenge that was the start of my street fighter training and I didn’t look back to see the beauty of life until four years later.

I engrossed myself in the training arts like boxing and wrestling and weightlifting and long distanced running.

I learnt a lot of this stuff from a man called Geoff Thompson who spent ten years on the door as a bouncer and he pressure tested what worked in a thing he called Animal Day training sessions.

Basically it is dirty boxing and wrestling.

I did these sessions with my father and his training partners.

I started off as an 8 stone teenager and when I ended it all I was tipping the scales at 12 stone of solid muscle mass with 5% body fat.

I ended it all in London.

I beat up a young guy in a gym in London at a mixed martial arts training gym and as I looked at myself in the mirror I looked like an ugly motherfucker while spitting blood down the toilet bowl.

I remember I was training with Geoff the next morning in Coventry and I was just tapping the pads with light knuckles and Geoff asked me what was wrong and I told him this was not for me anymore.

I became the thing I hated.

Also, I finished a book that night called: The Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda!

If you get a chance to read this I would recommend you do!

What I am trying to say is this:

If you are learning to be a poet, engross yourself in every bit of material you can get your hands on and smother yourself with it!

And if you find yourself in a similar place I was in: don’t waste your time because time is precious because you can never get that back.

So, waste your time learning to be a poet.

Believe me it’s better than punching people in the face or getting punched or choking people out into submission or lifting heavy weights until you get bell’s palsy (true story) or running until your legs seize so bad you think your knees are about to snap backwards and break them in the process (another true story).

I’m leaving you with a poem called: seeking him out.

Look for your truth through words not fists!






Seeking him out


I sought him out over a young email

To learn to be a street fighter with my fists

Instead he showed me God

In many faces and in multiple books

Now I live by his soft love and words

Learning to be a delicate poet

Like a leaf falling onto my foot

And I turn it into tea



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