Overture: An Evening with Troy Cabida

It’s summer of 2013. I’m walking from Hyde Park Corner to Oxford Circus because the 74 terminated early and I can only afford one more bus ride. I’m fresh out of sixth form, no plans to go to uni. I’m unemployed and at my Rachel Greene Season 1 phase and worst of all, I’m unpublished. Nazmia Jamal’s unrelenting voice rings in my head “You don’t have to be published to be a poet!” but the even more unrelenting voice in my head wins every time.

It was at this point when I decided that I’m going to use this time to grow and develop myself as not only a person, but as a worker, a friend, a son and an artist.

Fast forward to five years later, of three years in Sainsbury’s, two months in AllSaints, intermittent months as editor, columnist and featured poet in online journals and zines and two years sharpening my craft as a Barbican Young Poet under the tutelage of Jacob Sam-La Rose, all the while working in the library and gigging and producing poetry nights around London later, I find myself writing this article slash invitation post for a poetry night that I would have never thought to have co-produced, let alone feature in.

Overture: An Evening with Troy Cabida is a poetry night produced by me and the sensational poet, creative producer and visual artist Ruth Sutoyé. It is a show that functions in service to fully introduce myself to the world as a poet, performer and a person through poems and stories about love, friendship, bubble tea, that thing called masculinity and staying sober in London.

It’ll be held at The DIY Space on Saturday, the 11th of August 2018 from 7pm! Featuring acts on the night include Amina JamaNeimo AskarMalakaï Sargeant, Ruth Sutoyé and the musical prowess of Gabriel Jones aka Bump Kin.

Special shout outs to Malika Holder for designing the poster and to Ruth who is also my photographer for this entire project as well as co-producer, artistic director, host, therapist and all-around super friend.

Tickets are available by either clicking the poster above or down on the link below:


Early bird: £6

Standard online: £10

Door price: £12

We look forward to seeing you there!






“Free write”

There comes a point
when no one can remember
to forget their age

I’ll hear it in the way they laugh
throaty full slow
there’s a chewing to each chuckle
as if they’re holding on
to the bursts of joy
that they contain
that they couldn’t feel inside
this is often louder when escaping the mouth
they remind me of popping pearls

Nowadays I easily get sore throats
from drinking too much boba
or laughing too hard but not doing so
will drive me crazy that much I know
and have started to accept

but I still have to rip away from
people who have made me feel good
about myself for the first time

places that never seemed like
home but still contain corners and crannies
that will never stop feeling warm

pushing your way through often means
the voices in your head will grow louder
and the new challenge you step into
will be learning how to dance with said voices

maybe finding yourself in what they have to say



S/O #NaPoWriMo 2018 and @Sugar_Dread





never fear the sun that sneaks into your morning window,

he is an old friend from the ash of your yesterdays,


with his slender arms and ghost-like touches helping

bring back the golden years of your iridescent spotlight


that can rid the snarkiest of frostbite,

of your beauty and leonine might


that your former beaus used to write

about after declaring love to you every night


you are poetry refined, spirituality solidified,

a kaleidoscopic lionness dignified by love of her pride


spotless glitter

all over elegant clutter




and be everyone’s best kept secret

once again

“Free Pass”

drifting off

zipping brown

dancing green

driving away

just being


forgetting deadlines

singing choruses

listening to

beating hearts

passing days

sleeping around

releasing tension

among others

cursing off

letting go

of responsibilities

of inhibitions

you thought

once locked

you down


what nice

temporary fantasies

to keep us asleep

from the harshness

of the realities

calling us

like an alarm clock

breaking out of snooze

“Gold Linings”

Tube strikes didn’t care at all that day.
Sprinting from Piccadilly to Gower Street,
you’re in the interview of your life all sweaty gotta pee what is oxygen,
with the residential nerves all dragged out from the run.

Get home, get the sniffles from the February showers,
oversleep the alarm again, back to water diet, resort to social media
for entertainment, sneezing your way to a freshly posted ad:


Yet you’re still too tired to fulfil your fourth promise
to support your star-studded friend in her singing pageant.
Turns out the world just wasn’t ready for you to meet her band
and her singer friend who’ll you’ll fall in love with come September.

Look out the curtain, spring is peeking through the clouds,
unemployment cuts your schedule to nothing, but you have the bus money for it.
Check with your friends down Roehampton for some laughs,
and you forget what was so bad all along.

First published on Parallel Ink Issue 2, Vol 2 (2014)

“Blasé Blues”

The fun part is about to be over
Gravity your head is pulled
to fro every other direction
Your mouth speaks but you hear nothing
The clock’s stagnant time’s disappeared
time has stopped (that’s how it feels anyway)
and it’s ours to play with
Thoughts and words copulate
emotions step on oneanother
not knowing you’ve lost your grip
of almost everything
You know that secret you’ve been
hiding for yourself
Well don’t worry
that’s what friends are for
Memories oh god damn memories
all come stampeding back even though
you can’t even remember your
own two feet
The fun part is over prepare for the pain
But come on you know
you had a good night

Excerpt from Lost in London


the last fall hit me on the head
and that should have been my lesson
but my head wasn’t split open?
so why should this hurt me?

there is a light
within those portals
mortals call your eyes
that make it so impossible
to correlate your name
with the breaking of hearts

and even after your third no
to my promises to love you
with all the strength my old dog of a heart,
it persists to bounce back;

you remain true
a combatant against my blues

and even if the paths
don’t let us walk the same one forever
and maybe one day someone will
wake me up to love them instead

but for the time being
you’ll forever be
my poetry pedestal
my coloured dream come true
my antidote against the winter monster

and there it is
my heart is yours
my breath caught in you