When I Met a Genie

14 Feb

Ah I have finally typed up a first draft for my sst3 piece, it’s very long so some key feedback would be opinions on where I can truncate and prune it…….anyway ravenous critics come forth

Our story begins in Nottingham upon forest fields,
A scene that seemed to me to be the world’s biggest dream catcher,
A place where three Uni bound boys would go to recapture
Football dreams each goal a momentary happy ever after
And each blade of grass would equate to ten minutes of laughter.

Yet there’s one time that particularly sticks in my mind,
A moment to which my memory can instantly rewind,
It was summer and the place was packed to the rafters,
The sky was a gigantic blueberry spaceship parked just outside the earth
And an apricot sun showed us exactly just what the fruits of dreams are worth.

As kids and mums were milling, gangs of chums were chilling,
And a few cheeky kids smoked bud,
It was all a blur as me and my friends wrote football fairy tales on the hardened mud.

What happened next I don’t fully understand,
In fact it still perplexes me to this day

I spot a man walking across the park,
He was like a human black hole,
I mean his clothes were so dark,
It’s the middle of summer and he’s wearing a coat like a cloak
And as he approaches I note he’s got that grey grubby stubble that means he was
Double Broke.
Broken once in the heart and broken in terms of banknotes too
He just carried on walking towards me and I didn’t have a clue what to do,
Before I had time to decide where to move he was standing there at the edge of my shoes.

For how long we stood there was never important or apparent,
But as he looked at me I felt completely transparent,
With bloodshot eyes man he looked manic,
But as his eyes plugged into mine it was just us on the planet,
Then without further ado,
He made this hand gesture
Sign language for I’ve got something for you.

His hand slowly went for his pocket,
And I’m worrying wondering whether he’s gonna pull out a gun or a rocket,
His eyes look like they might pop out of his sockets,
And I’m about to yell out and bellow “STOP IT”

When his hand slowly emerges again,
Holding nothing more than a pen.

I’ve got a conjecture, of which I’ll never be certain,
But I had a feeling that this pen had served him,
I said “is that it”,
He said, “No
I’ll leave you with this,
Wishes are about self promotion,
Dreams on the other hand are about pure devotion”.

And with that he was done,
And hobbled off away from the sun,
I looked around and no one else had seemed to notice so wondering whether I’d hallucinated or not I just pulled myself back to the football focus thinking I’ll deal with this hocus pocus some other day.

So there the pen stayed in my backpack for a couple of days,
Time passing it by unnoticed due to how little it weighed,
Until I was probably doing something dumb like searching for my daily fix of chewing gum when I grasped it from the bottom of my bag.

I surveyed it thinking of the meeting in another dimension,
The man’s cryptic words and what he had meant then,
And then I took off the lid,
Found a piece of paper and touched in with the nib

Then there was an explosion of motion,
And I was utterly spluttering with my mouth wide open in the midst of an acid purple cloud of smoke,
I buffeted it away starting to choke
And just as it was starting to burn my throat
It cleared and appeared
A creature like nothing I’ve ever seen on this earth,
Admittedly it had the same skin colour as a smurf,
But it was floating as if not bound by the laws of this
Realm.

With a peacock’s puffed chest and hands on hips,
The genie started slowly to part his lips,
He said
“Yo bitch I’m yo genie watcha gon wish fo?”

Nah, he didn’t really.
He said “I am here to serve the master of the pen,
Granting thou unlimited wishes,

Termsandconditionsapply”.

I just stood there completely dumbfounded,
Any response impounded within my voice box.
He spoke again “I can see you’re unclear,
So here are some ideas,
Of what people have wished for before:

World peace; I’ve granted it before but the effect was only brief,
It wasn’t long until people introduced eyes for eyes and teeth for teeth,

An end to poverty was also granted,
It’s not a lack of resources I’m afraid the real source
People just can’t share properly.

Anyway I put it to you,
Wish and your wishes will come true”.

I was feeling dizzy from the panoply of choice,
So it was a while before I finally found my voice,
The kaleidoscope of possibilities formed a twister in my brain,
Meanwhile the mysterious man’s mysterious words echoed again and again,

Finally I sieved
“You’ve listened patiently Genie and thanks for your help,
Now it’s time to tell you a bit about myself,
I’m known to moan but that’s not how I want to be Russell Branded I’m just being candid that life isn’t exactly how I planned it,

You see I’ve always wanted to be a footballer,
And I’ve wished before that I’d be taller and smaller and also
A better footballer,

And I remember when I was becoming ever so keen on the hip hop scene,
In fact I was becoming a hip hop fiend
With wishes and dreams of having a hip hop team
Up on the monitors and under the monikers of Donsage & Tikim.

But I let both of those Ideals slip through fingers like house keys.

I used to wish I’d get homesick instead of being sick of home,
I used to wish I’d never have to feel alone.

I’ve wish that I could change my past as easily as air molecules and have my perfect future set in 24 carat concrete.

I used to wish I could escape into the world of my writing instead of fighting to bring my writing into this world.

But for all my wishes this is God’s world and from now on I shall use my writing to build upon and never hide from my life,

I shall hold a mirror before my soul,
And from me at least Mr Genie,
I set you free.

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4 Responses to “When I Met a Genie”

  1. Chris February 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh and Happy valentine’s day mouthyians

  2. Matt M February 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    Bloody loved this when you did it at Mouthy and reading it again was a pleasure, especially when I can visualise your performance (which compliemented and definately added to the piece).

    I love that you’ve created a personal situation in which you reflect on your own wants and desires but, due to the omnipotence of the metaphor of the genie, you managed to add some quiet but cutting wider social commentary – introduction of eyes for eyes and teeth for teeth and your reflection on poverty both very nice – seemed to answer that question of ‘if there’s a God, why’s he not doing anything?’ It’s not his fault, people are crap. I like it.

    Some of your imagery is wonderful and inverts and therefore avoids cliches nicely. My favourite example is ’24 carat concrete’.

    Your pace works very well, aided by a rhyming structure which allows the narrative to flow smoothly without really ever feeling forced. This worked well in performance.

    Couple of tiny criticisms – ‘Football fairy tales’ in the 3rd stanza felt to me like it was toeing the wrong side of cliche. What do you reckon?

    When you ‘yell out and bellow’ for the man to stop, I feel like one or the other would work – either ‘yell out’ or ‘bellow’. Likewise, towards the end when you mention your dreams of being a footballer, I’m not sure the repetition works. Perhaps take away the first line, so that it simply reads, ‘And I’ve wished before that I’d be taller and smaller and also
    A better footballer’. I think this would tidy it and also that hinting at a lost ambition rather than revealing it outright could be more effective. Again, personal taste.

    I like the word panoply, because I hadn’t heard it before. I like new words.

    That’s it from me, really like this piece, strong narrative, strong imagery, effective message.

    Happy belated Valentine’s Day,
    Matt M

  3. Anne Holloway February 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    I love the fact this has an up beat feel to it – spot on Matt, with the tiny pieces of criticism about ‘footballer’ bit.
    I’m not a great fan of rhyme but I think you carry it off here – you engage with your audience, there is humour here and yet talking about the man being ‘double broke’ reminds me of how grim life can be – skin the colour of Smurfs? I’m not sure, but I think you get away with it when you perform it.
    “The sky was a gigantic blueberry spaceship parked just outside the earth, And an apricot sun showed us exactly just what the fruits of dreams are worth” – what a great way of describing it – there is something Willy Wonka about the whole piece. Humour tinged with darkness – my favourite kind. But I think the reason this works for me is that it has a youthful exuberance about it, with an underlying wisdom, which is what Mouthy people are all about – I am sick and tired of being told that ‘young people’ have no depth, don’t care, don’t understand, haven’t suffered, don’t get it,’ etc etc. READ THIS and weep, or laugh, or nod in agreement, or smile.

    • Matt M February 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      Ha yes, it’s got a sprinkle of Tim Burton about it like. Lovely little Burton sprinkles.

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