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The Importance of Leaving your Bed

so, I do this thing.
And the thing I do is that I will wake up quite early but refuse to admit that i’m awake and try and sleep more. Because life is so much less anquish when you are asleep. Everybody knows this. Everybody does this. But with me it has gotten compulsive and damaging.
I’m trying to be better. To do better. I used to think if I talked more about this stuff it would help. Maybe it does. Maybe I’m starting to annoy myself though.  Maybe i’m annoying other people. Maybe in some peoples eyes I’ve become a pantomime of a very real and serious thing. Maybe i’ve tarnished myself too much with the ‘mentally ill’ brush.  I’m honestly a lot more interesting than that. Maybe i’m doing myself a disservice talking about these things in public. I wanted dialogue and support but maybe all I’m getting is pity.
I don’t need your fucking pity. It is of no use to me.

Maybe i’m not being pitied. Maybe that’s all in my head. Everything is all in my head. I’m not a hardcore solipist but the fact that remains that our conception of reality and the physical world is filtered through our bodies and our minds. We may not make reality every time we open our eyes but we certainly percieve it in a way that is unique to human beings.  And due to various enviromental, biological, historical and psychological factors I don’t percieve in the way most human beings do. That can be real lonely. That’s why I try and talk about this stuff. So i can be less alone. Maybe.

But i don’t know if I do a very good job of talking about it.

An over-riding feature of this cross I bear is the fact that I think a lot. Too much. Which can be very useful. I’m pretty smart. This is probably because I think too much and have read a bunch of books and i’m quite good at synthesising and connecting up concepts and thoughts (probably because i think too much). Unfortunately, it gets to the point where the thoughts begin to pull myself to pieces and start breaking things and doing damage. Running out of other material, or perhaps simply because i have a self-destructive streak, the mind turns its attention to its damaged psyche and begins poking holes.

I have spent my life at the mercy of a million thoughts and undertaking very little action to bring those thoughts into some kind of concrete reality outside of my head. Because what worth can any idea you have possibly have Adam? Little to none.

But that’s faulty thinking. I know it is because I’ve spent the past couple of years thinking and then doing. I’ve seen the outcome.  I have honestly inspired so many people and deep down it freaks me out. I have given opportunities to people to get up in front of a mic and do their thing and watched them catch as if kindling and become luminescent and go on and do more things and inspire other people. It is fucking beautiful and it is hard for me to think that I have had any kind of hand in that. Me. Worthless Little Me.

But i can’t be worthless, can I? If i’ve done these things. If i’ve inspired those people. But still the mind insists. It cajoles. it takes bites out of itself.

I want to do more. I AM doing more. Many a cool thing on the horizon. But they’re only happening because i’m ignoring my fucking head and just doing. Unfortunately that doesn’t stop the head from doing what my head does. It’s fucking painful. I cry it hurts so much, randomly, for brief moments.  tears run down my face. And then it’s gone and I dry my eyes, the feeling subsides a little but remains.

I wonder how different things could of been if someone or something had interveined in my past. Had set me right a bit in my faulty compulsive thinking. The provision for mental health on the NHS is fucking laughable, especially in Glasgow. If you aren’t a physical risk to yourself or others you aren’t going to be taken seriously. I have experienced this a lot. The amount of times I’ve gone down to the mental health unit on Florence street aching for help and pretty much had demonstrated to me that i’m wasting their time… well, it has been numerous times.

I’ve been referred to outlier organisations, non-NHS non-profits, for councelling only for the councelor to turn around and say “your problems are much bigger than what we are outfitted with to deal with”. And then i become disheartened. And then i give up. I carry on until it becomes too much again and I reach out for help, hoping against hope that things will go differently this time. That I will get the help I need.  But previous experience indicates otherwise.

I’m dimly aware that it is mental health awareness week. A large part of me is like Fuck Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s fucking lip service. It will change nothing. Things like this, x y awareness <arbitrary measurement of time> are like little morally superior holidays people can choose to take. Just perfect for our bite-sized, social-media-driven lives. A badge they can add to their symbolic scout uniform – “I has virtue signalling”.
Still, I have woken up on a tuesday morning and written this thing about my mental illness. Perhaps I should jump on this bandwagon. Maybe loosen the wheel nuts a little whilst nobody is looking.

I’ve written this to get it out of my head. I’ve written this because I hope it will help me in some way to express these things. This level of honesty concerning your vunerability is hard to sustain. To strip yourself naked in public is not something most people will ever feel the need to do.  Maybe it will help you to understand, maybe it will inspire others who suffer to be able to stand up and say “Me Too!”. Maybe it’ll disappear below the surface of the internet and be read by nobody.

Regardless, I’m gonna eat this frozen pizza for breakfast, greedily, hungrily, because I didn’t feed myself lunch or dinner yesterday and Today I’m Going To Do Better. I Am Going To Be Better. I am going to rise above those nagging voices that don’t want me to ever leave my bed and Do Things.
Until it all becomes too much and I let them take control again. It doesn’t usually take very long.
But before that happens I just want to say Thank You. I want to thank everyone i’ve befriended since I got to glasgow, all the poets and writers and musicians and rappers and artists and activists and just good cunts that I have met. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t doing nearly as well as I am and despite my complaining and venting and nay-saying I am doing pretty well. It just doesn’t feel like that a lot of the time.

Maybe it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Maybe that’s just a trite metaphor thought up by a greeting card company.
Maybe both are true.

Tinder Tyrant: joint second!

I got strong-armed into performing at this due to a lack of wildcard signups. Was an awesome night with some startlingly good performances.

Cat Hepburn

Tonight I came joint second with the talentedCalum Rodger in The Rhyming Optional slam Game of Poems, hosted by Kevin P Gilday, as part of the South Side Fringe. The consistently greatKatie Ailes, complete with Blue Peter style tinfoil armour, was the night’s deserved winner- hats off to her for altering her poems to fit Game of Thrones references. I’m just glad that guest judge Ron Donnachie seemed to like my Tinder poem!

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Causing a Rockus

I’m branching out….

Cat Hepburn

Tonight I opened with a ten minute set for Rockus’s spoken word event Poetry n Power Chords. Aside from the obvious buzz that comes with performing, getting the opportunity to see the other poets read their new work is often the greatest pleasure.

Every spoken word night I attend introduces me to some ones to watch- either emerging poets or people I just haven’t come across before, and tonight was no exception. The fellow female performers (such as Polly Burn, Charlotte Le Good and Hussie Rodriguez) gave witty and striking performances, mostly focusing on the struggles of modern women and challenging patriarchal expectations of sex and relationships. Having noticed a gender imbalance in like, everything (!), it was great to see young women holding their own and delivering punchy, strong poetry.

A good bunch of Glasgow’s well established poets, such as the ever energetic Sam Small, and the force to be reckoned…

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::::Amongst the Dust:::: [ BETA ] [ video ]

An unfinished poem that I just like so much I’m performing it in its raw state.

:::This beatific slice::: [ video ]

Shot by the illustrious Bram E. Gieben
check me waxing lyrical
on the merits of pizza
like a motherfucking ninja turtle.

::::Negate the Meat:::: [ spoken word ]

This is my most widely published, widely performed poem. It dates from my days living in a semi-furnished flat provided by social services, out on the fringes of what counts as the ‘West End’ of Glasgow (the posh part), a few months after i crash landed homeless in the city.

Poetry is alive. It’s vibrant. It’s language that’s made to dance.

Or at least that is how it should be.

On the page though it can feel less so. Like fossilised remains. echoes of something long since gone.

The Oral tradition is where it all began. It was all we had – before we developed written language everything was spoken. Everything was heard. Stories were told around fires. Words were shared only in person. This ancient lineage gives the words a power that simply cannot be attained when you slap shit onto pieces of dead tree. Just speaking them out loud gives them a life they can never have when they remain solely on the page. There is a sense of communion between performer and listener, an alchemy that transforms inkblots into fireflies.

And so i begin to release work as audio. To break down the barriers between myself, the words, and you.

Look at me being all earnest and shit. It’s almost as if that crunchy, sarcastic and deeply cynical shell I present to the world hides a gooey centre of sincerity and feelings and stuff.

::::Complex 01::::

::::and the sky will consume us all::::

It is the insignificance of the human race that allows me to get out of bed in the morning.
Knowing that we’re only hurting ourselves somehow soothes that
frantic butterfly aneurysm
that sticks like shit to the walls and drips and collects in pools.

Brings a skip to my step to realise
Nothing really means anything
And that we’re just the setup of a racist joke
With no punch line.

Feels fine inside to know
no matter
how many books I read
I’m still just a waste product of time.

Line ‘em up boys,
I’ll watch them fall
and when it comes I’ll greet oblivion like an old friend.

It pleases me no end this knowledge that no matter what we do;
Declare war as an excuse to pillage, condone rape with silence,
or even condemnation towards victims,
Profit in cashmoney
from inflicting severed limbs and misery
on Islamic children,
Acting father knows best to those that won’t bend the knee
to the International Monetary Fund for a loan designed
to stripmine public assets for corporate interests
and leave people recycling their own feces

– we’re barely a blip on the radar of the cosmos.

It pleases me that all we seem to do is suck each other dry
And leave behind stumblebum husks of one another.

Doesn’t bother me in the slightest that each day is more empty
Than the one it proceeds.

The fact that the whole of human knowledge is the intellectual equivalent of a 2 dollar handjob down the greasy alley next to the library causes me to stifle a chuckle.

Fuck All Belief.
Just bed time stories we tell ourselves to give the illusion of autonomy.
Freedom is a myth
Invented in the 1950s by Levi jeans and constructed from the yolk of Jack Keuroac’s wet dreams.

The awareness that we belittle and degrade
50% of the entire population
For having tits and giving birth to
Every single soul on earth
To the point where we got them thinking they’re worth less
Than some prick with a penis
Is really an impressive feat of irony.

And when the surface water is so polluted from Hydraulic fracturing
That it burns your throat and makes children blind
And when the roving gangs of UKIP voters beat
The shit right out of you because of your country of origin
And when bigotry becomes national unity
And Well being is replaced with misery
And the source of your next meal is a mystery
Handed out from food banks built out of desperate necessity
And when the government sells out what few rights we have left
To a company that promises to make poverty profitable
And when it all becomes too much to take
And when we are left to drown
In our parents mistakes
And in the moments before we finally break

I’ll know deep in my heart
That being human is great.

::::loss of appetite::::





::::We the Abstract::::




Cat Hepburn

Scriptwriter & Spoken Word Artist


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