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Birmingham City Council

What do you see when you look at me? - A poem by Matt Windle

Matt Windle was the Young Poet Laureate for Birmingham 2007-2008

Matt talks about other people's impression of him as a poet and a boxer in
What do you see when you look at me?

What do you see when you look at me?

What do you see when you look at me?
Right now you see me doing poetry slam
But on a Friday night in the clubs you see a ladies man
Pulling what ever I can, with a can in my hand
Barley able to stand
On weekdays you see a man that's studying at college
I think im gonna fail this test im running out of plumbing knowledge
Next to my peeps you just see a lad that's 5 foot high
But you never really know what's going on inside
Every where I go people say you're small
Stating the obvious I reply you're tall
Up the merry hill shops im just the man in the crowd
Writing a slam like this just means im thinking out loud
2 years ago people were calling me a bum
You got kicked out of school haa you're gonna be dumb
But I took my opportunities when they a rose
Had obstacles in front of me but I was quick on my toes
Then the haters froze I popped through the dark cloud
Now all of a sudden that boy came to our school he's made us so proud
You could see someone with hardly a penny to his name
Mates' parents whispering he's got no direction in life aww what a shame
But others might see me as one lucky lad
Because with out my mom and dad, I wouldn't have got far
To cook me dinner then drop me off in the car
Now people are like raa is that matt? Who would have thought it?
This chance was thrown at me so with two hands a caught it
But the man that you see spitting a rhyme
Isn't just spitting all of the time
He swaps the mike for gloves as he prepares for a fight
Hoping tonight the punches are right
But just like the slam it's all about points
I know how to put pipes together but it's no good for my joints
But I'm the man that rocks and knocks ya
The man doing poetry is also a boxer
A what sir? A boxer. See, never judge a book by its cover
The man that fights is a lyrical lover
People always say that's a strange combination
Dreadlock alien thought when he met me I was on probation
When you look at me let's face it you might just see a hooded yob
That's out on the streets hustling for a job
Or you might see a kid that's as good as gold
He's just miss understood his side hasn't been told
But the kids like that adults couldn't manage them
I'll write you a letter for anger management
That's the answer to make it all better
Now they want the credit when they only typed up a letter
On the bus every Tuesday travelling for hours
When they could have just saw the poetry powers
Then somebody did and that's led to today
It's funny how everything has worked out this way
I just cross fingers and toes and who knows where all this will take me
But one thing's for a fact, no one will break me
So that's it people that's a bit about me
I hope you see something different the next time you look at me.

© Matt Windle


Poems by Matt Windle, Young Poet Laureate 2007-2008
Birmingham Young Poet Laureate 2007-2008
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