Friday, April 21, 2006

How to be Normal

I wrote this when I was at Central (in my second year so it would have been 2002/03). I wrote it intending to read it out in the student bar on one of the open mike nights but the opportunity never came up which, if I'm honest, was a relief. Looking back now I can't help but wander if I'd have had the guts to recite this in front of a large group of drunk and (most likely) stoned drama students.

How to be Normal

I must wake up, I must go to school
I must act the fool, I must be sensible
I must read, I must write
I must need, I must fight
For my right to spend the night
With my friends so that I can be cool.

I must smoke, I must drink
I must dope, I must think
About being healthy with clean lungs
And wealthy - top of the dung
Heap with heaps of money. Don't be funny
But I must tell a few jokes
I must scramble the eggs without breaking the yolks.

I must pass the test, do my best
Beat the rest and be the best
I must expand my chest, I must look good in a vest
I must work 24/7, I must save room for a rest
I must disturb the nest, I must avoid arrest
I must play the jerk, who needs to work?
Just find yourself a treasure chest.

I must be the same, must be an individual
Must play the game but I must find one that's original.

I must be clever, I must scheme
I must keep my feet on the ground, I must have a dream
I must be clean but not be neat
I must be seen to be discreet.

I must be honest, I must lie
I must effortlessly try
Must be the best at being worst
Must have a drink then die of thirst
I must stories with meaning
And poems with feeling
I must find space that is teeming
I must stand while I'm kneeling.

I must be crazy and sane and hazy and vain
I must say that I'm free while I'm hiding my chains
I must loosen my grip to slacken the reigns
I must mend and pretend that I can't feel the pain
Coz if I say that I'm wrong then what do I gain
I can't take the risk of choosing one lane.

I must say that I worship more than one God
Coz one of them's real and it increases the odds.
Why have one faith in one God without even blinking
It's easier to have more than one way of thinking
Forget the fact that they are all contradicting
And really the cause for the pain we're inflicting.

You see there is one direction there is just one road to take
But when I say I'm a Christian, you hear I am a fake
You see I've found a way, and I can get to the top
"Oh Postmodernism" - That crap's about giving up.

You don't think that people out there genuinely know truth?
That they can take a leap of faith without scientific proof?
And you think that when they pray their words are stopped by the roof?
And that they're worshipping a God who's far away and aloof?

"Coz yeah we've searched for answers". Well in sex, drugs and fists
And when they haven't been found there well then how can they exist?
"But come on we don't need a God, we love life, embraced it."
Well tell me if you're so darn happy what's the need to get wasted.
I don't mean to offend you I know I must sound enthused
It just upsets me when I see how much we've got things confused
Coz life is refused and we are all left bemused
When we think we can choose but then we're just being used.

You see our choice has been taken
By a world that is faking and making us believe that life is ours for the taking
You see society's shaken
You wander why it is breaking?
Coz we like to say we're free but I'm afraid we're mistaken.

Coz we live in a world in which we're told to conform
"Of course you can be different - as long as you fit the norm"
We're told just how to dress and how to speak and how to behave
I must be mad and sad and glad and bad all in the same day.

You see we're all tied up, we're all bogged down all slaves of oppression
To sin, did I say sin? No, that's the kind of expression
That leaves us guessing - and so we call it old fashioned
And then refuse to be accused of ever being empassioned.

But when I say that I have found a right way out of this hole
You say "well ok, I guess that's one to go"
You see I'm scum but then I'm saved coz of the grace I'm receiving
A faith in Jesus isn't something that's just "nice to believe in"
It's empowering - it will your whole life renew
God gives me strength to do the things I never thought I could do
So give your life a review, check out the evidence
My God is present and is future, so much more than past tense
He offers love and forgiveness, will take you down off the fence
Now surely just to check it out would be common sense
But no!

I must be silent, I must be loud
I must get lost in the crowd
I must buy without spending
I must be truthfully pretending
I must love what I'm hating
I must shove what I'm creating
I must know my own ignorance
I must challenge the conventions of art by reciting words that don't fit with the rhythm of the rest of the poem and don't even rhyme.

I must speak, I must sing
I must sneak, I must sting
I must cheat, I must win
I must greet, I must grin

I must be chased, must be faced
I must say grace, must show some haste
Must wear a brace, must know my place
Must not be chaste but show good taste.

I must be late, be filled with hate
Must then create a word called fate
I must negate and therefore grate
Must take the bait right off the plate
I must debate at any rate
I must relate outside the gate

I must give so I get
I must sleep so I sweat
Must stay calm so I fret
I must know so I bet
I must laugh till I cry
I must sit till I lie
Must be low till I'm high
I must live till I die
Now you tell me,

Who am I?

1 comment:

bratty said...

Wow! That was AMAZING!!