Duppy Conqueror

Like the title of a novel I once wrote, I know that ‘shit happens’. It really does. And the ghosts of the internal world are far worse than the ghosts of the external. The ghosts of the internal know you too well and can feed from you with astounding ease. They stir a turbulence and a malice that eats away from the inside out. Thoughts can debilitate like a virus, taking you down. And you’re not living, you’re just carrying on until the tide of your flesh eventually relents, pealing back revealing the bareness of bone. Bone, sinew and that complicated muscular gristle that the earth longs to reclaim. And eventually, the memory of you is packed away in a box and buried six feet under a bed. Like everyone else that ever was and ever will be. I know this intellectually-emotionally and it saddens me as if I’ve been through it before. Time and time again.

This is common. Like a cold, it’s catching. From one sad soul to the next, these vampiric vibes know how to feed and move forward. They know. But I know something too, I do. Paying attention to my nightmares, dissecting and deciphering metaphors like a science-poet, I’ve learned something. I am a vitamin as easily as I’m a disease. I can file away the fake and equip myself to fight. And in the face of adversity, I say ‘fuck it full time. Fuck it’.

I’m taking a leaf from the book of the bold adventurer. Another from the soul adventurer. From the duppy conqueror and if I keep tea-leafing like this page by page then before you know it, I’ll be my own bible. By the book: I’ll follow the rules and the regulations governing my own shit like a guru. And the word-weapons can heckle me from the back bench of my brain as much as they want, they wont carry the same weight that they once did. Because I know they’re not there to help, they’re there to hinder. To keep you stuck like a rat in a cage, peddling on that nowhere wheel, promising things that come at a price too high. Property and prosperity. Meaningless prizes in a game that’s not always fun to play. Wasn’t I always more into kiss chase than the rat race? Didn’t I want to be like Bob Marley and bring the ghettos up-town? I wanted to make people question the rules they play by because there is a flavour of truth and expression that’s soup, more satisfying than any sausage. Bean by bean I wanted to fill the sack: but forget the beanstalk AND the giant, I wanted to start a movement with a bed, a boy, a banjo and a gypsie caravan big enough for two. Groups of gardeners and a settlement of story tellers, we’d get back to something far more important than swelling the coffers of capitalism and commerce. The moon is all the marketing I need. A hippie at heart, who would have thought my bare feet could carry me so far away from the soil of my soul?

‘Your legs are not broken, get up and walk’ resonated deeply within me. Like a prophetic reverb it bounced around inside. Rattled me like percussion. And it took me a day or so to understand it. The old man looked right at the camera when he said it. Reminiscing about his 30th year when they called him young. They called him young when he knew within himself that he’d given up. A shell, he carried on, from one thing to the next, letting life elude him willingly. 24 hours mulling it over and at last I understood. ‘Your legs are not broken, get up and walk’. Like a hook, I’ve hung myself tightly onto it. Because I needed something to pick me up, wanted something to pick me up. Tired of all this wallowing stagnation, I want to move forward. I don’t have to keep on keeping on, don’t have to play their game and let them set me up to fail. Like a tree I can branch out, extend beyond this stupid situation where I swallow hard on the real me and smile for such a small salary. Fuck em up the arse for I shall write that vegetable bible where the leek shall inherit the earth and they can’t butternut squash this soul into submission as easily as they think. They might never lettuce publish it but so what, I can count my courgettes and pray for peelings and through the eye of the potatoe i’ll see that what i’m doing is homegrown, handmade and thoroughly natural. By the process of osmosis i’ll absorb just as much as I need to sustain me. And like a king edward i’ll fritter any fucker that gets in my way.