Panda In Disguise

I like words and whiskey


whiskeyandwarheroes asked: Hey, I saw you on the poetry slam and just wanted to say I think you're probably one of the most talented writers I've read in a long time, and I think your delivery has a depth that I would never expect someone to actually execute the way you do. I didn't think it was possible to write a poem like United Shirts and Rosaries that was so devoid of cliche and so funny but also so sad and truthful. I considered modern writing and poetry meaningless pursuits and you've shown me I'm wrong, so thanks!

Thank you so much for listening and taking the time to write to me. I’m glad I’ve changed your mind! I think modern writing/poetry is so important. We can’t just rely on a load of (mostly) dead (mostly) dudes to define the form. I think it’s an incredibly simple and beautiful way of expressing yourself and I can only hope a few people along the way appreciate my work as you have. Nice one!

New word. Word.

New word. Word.

Free Write

It’s in my nature

I ruin love

Bring people close to push them away

I swear I like to make it rain to feel the heat of the sun when it comes

I always pick the bad ones

And my friends are all getting married

I don’t understand when that happened

When I’m still left greeting dawns on rooftops

Tracing different fingerprints like rings on old tree stumps

To find the ones that intertwine with mine

I’m left at the ends of the house parties in the dregs of the bottles of cheap wine.

And my heart still belongs to the one who never wanted it.

He carries it round in his back pocket

One day I might ask for it back.

Last week I drank tequila with a stranger I’d now regard as a friend

But how long til I cast him aside?

How long til he realises I meant what I said?


When are you off to SGP?

I haven’t seen him in a few weeks

And I kind of wish I never found out what happened

I kind of wish I never got back those six hours I miraculously lost at a house party in Hackney

I wish I was strong enough to not go with something just because I’m lonely.

My body has changed quite a lot in the past two years

Apparently its more appealing to men who used to scan past me in crowds.

I spoke to Sarah for the first time in months yesterday

She’s moved away

Living with a man that I’ve never met and that’s ridiculous to me after years of living so closely

My faith in people deteriorates daily

I used to be more trusting

But there’s only so many times a fire can burn you before you pray for rain

I swear we were almost there

We almost had it made

The smell of petrol reminds me of you

Exhaust fumes seeping in through open windows

How you drove too fast in your Mum’s car

Looked at me through the corner of your eye

Your smile all ash in the twilight

It still gets stuck in my throat

Cause I may see you all the time

But I lost you long ago


So my speaky wordy pal Sam D Grover has made an EP and from what I hear it’s pretty flippin special.
He’s invited me to speak some words at the launch along with the beautiful Zia Ahmed and gorgeous Toby De Angeli
That Sideshow Bob/ hint of Hurley from Lost/ Jonathan Creek look a like Jack Rooke will be hosting…but don’t let that put you off.
Its at The Roundhouse on Saturday 25th October.
Come yes?

Coping Mechanisms


I can’t give myself away

That’s what I tell myself anyway

The path was clear to me for a bit,

Now it’s all winding country lanes and signposts that point different ways.

Without words we are left unheard

I’d rather say them to you than a page but

I’m coping, I think

I’m okay


I just wanna dance the night away.

Give me some gin and some MDMA

seems that lately I’ve been living life to excess

using the excuse I don’t wanna be left in a threadbare armchair wondering where the time went.

There may be teardrops to shed

Plenty before, there’ll be plenty more

I can’t get you out of my head.


It’s hard to admit I miss you

I surprise myself by how much I do

Sat in the sun in my sanctuary

My head is still hazy with your voice and confusion

I see snatches of you in my sleep

Wake early

Breathe deep

My body’s giving up on me I am literally falling apart

Wouldn’t say my heart is broken

It didn’t get that far

But it’s taken one hell of a beating mate.

It’s scarred.


So rewind the time

what’s yours is mine

you can knock on my window at 5 in the morning if you like.

I won’t mind.

Sometimes everything else melts away, all the things that seemed to dominate,

Creating and saving and making a wage

Sometimes its enough to exist 

To enjoy the simple things

Stay in bed and get pissed

Not worry as much bout what people think.

Wasting space instead of using it

I get in a mess thinking like this

But this spiral slide is fun to ride

Counting the hours til you’re back in my sights

I just wanted something to sit right

I just needed you to say you’d sit tight


 It was never my fault or yours

I know you might put the blame on me but there was no cause.

I suppose that makes it hurt more.

But you’re not the only one that feels lost.

You’re not the only one punching holes in to rock

Weighing up costs

Taking last shots

My knuckles are bleeding and my heart won’t stop beating too fast

I’m speaking in clichés

Dancing through the dark

I can’t drift anymore

I can’t wait

Have to grab what I can and get out post haste

I don’t hate you mate

I just can’t keep recycling me and you

Keep telling myself its good as new

We’ve been fraying at the edges for time

Just took me a while to realise


You convince yourself that its love

Convince yourself you’re not making it up.

Gin makes it easy so pass me a cup,

Bottoms up

Head spin.

I’m fucked.

You never look the same in the morning.

I’ve never been one to heed to the warnings

Life can be boring enough.


Sometimes the want’s not enough

Sometimes you can want it too much

That still doesn’t mean that it’s real

I spent years studying fabricated feelings

Now I don’t know how to feel

Don’t know if I’m bubbling it up inside convincing myself that it’s right

Cause nobody wants to be lonely

Everyone wants to be loved and love

Find things they see in the movies

It was my Mum that made it alright

After hours wandering the streets on my own

Following lampposts further from home

Going over things in my head

What you said

All the things I didn’t say

She said,

Was it really right anyway?

Is it really worth all the hurt?

Cause if it wasn’t

And you weren’t anything but happy

You haven’t lost, you’ve gained.

You’ve made a lucky escape.

Family Home (rough draft)

Family home now sold

Parents have been busy

Stripping bricks of my upbringing

I think of my initials written in pencil on the back wall of my wardrobe

I wonder if someone will find them

and wonder who it was that signed them

I like the idea of leaving things behind

I still wear Nan’s ring to feel like she’s alive.

I even talk to her sometimes.

All it takes is Nat King Cole playing from a tape deck and I picture her face.

Taste the bells with a dash of water,

She let me dip my little finger in on Saturdays when I stayed round,

Fish and chips or Pie and Mash and watching West Ham from her balcony.

She’d send me next door to smoke in secret, told us she’s packed it all in.

One time I caught her and cried.

Said I didn’t understand why she would choose to do something so stupid.

And now I roll tobacco in to licorice skins when I’m pissed, smoke and bitch over gin,

Cause it’s fun.

I want to live while I’m young,

And it makes me feel safe somehow.

These habits we share,

These stained fingers,

These nights I whisper in to the dark and not think of the repercussions.

Do what feels right at the time.

It all feels right at the time.

It was hard enough when she died.

Hard enough saying goodbye to Saturday afternoons in her living room.

To a back bedroom for when I was sick or sad but I still had Mum and Dad’s.

I haven’t lived in their house for over a year

Old enough now to make it alone

But just because its not your house,

Doesn’t mean it’s not still your home.

Cause I swear any time something goes tits up I run straight back to those walls.

Those rooms I grew up in

Those memories of school and Christmas and siblings.

All the bitterness and wonderment of adolescence

I am cemented in with those bricks.

Even recently, in these past few weeks, nearly 26 but broken and bruised I hopped on a train and ran home to you.

I didn’t know what else to do.

Surrounded by fragments of happy times and boxes and crap TV

You let me cry and you comforted me.

No more impromptu teas

No more lifts on Sunday evenings

Heart to hearts over a steering wheel and Led Zeppelin.

The last time you took me home I cried.

I tried to hide it but you probably saw

I said it won’t be the same any more.

What with you so far away, it scares me you’re getting older now and I won’t be there to make sure you’re ok.

Cause you’ve always been so proud.

Mum says as long as you’re both around you can look after each other.

And that’s true.

I just wish you could still look after me too, cause I don’t feel ready you know.

I don’t feel as old as I am.

And now on the weekends before payday when there’s no food in the fridge,

Or when I’m so sad I lie staring at the ceiling

Or when I’ve been left with a bruised heart,

I can’t just run home to your arms.

That’s hard.

But I know you’ve waited a lifetime for this

To disappear along with the shit we accumulate in rooms of brick.

To escape Essex and live by the sea.

I think you’re just as scared as me.

You said,

‘I’m sorry to let you down’

But that’s silly.

Cause we both know we’ll all be okay

And that love is enough to span this distance we’ve never had between us.

The house is empty now.

All that remains are the blue tac stains

And the digs I made in the wooden floor,

The echoes of nylon strings and David Gilmour,

The garden that whispers secrets of those summer evenings

The red wine stains and the screaming,

The memories that can’t be ignored,

Over twenty years of stories, behind someone else’s front door.

Happy International Day of the Girl. The Southbank Centre asked me to be a mentor on The London Eye. I met some wonderful young women, listened to some very important discussions, took in these gorgeous views and destroyed a croissant all before 12pm. And Julie Walters was there. Bosh.

Yes the parentals are moving out of our family home…but atleast I get these bad boys

Yes the parentals are moving out of our family home…but atleast I get these bad boys

Roundhouse Poetry Slam winners

You can watch both of my poems from The Roundhouse Poetry Slam here, as well as the winner Vanessa Kisuule and 3rd place beauty Isabel Tennyson.