The Saddest Poem: A Response

You wrote the saddest lines, so
We could all cry for you, but
Instead we cry for all of ourselves
And the ones who remembered how to fly

Away. Where love, yours and hers, was supposed
To go on and live another breath and day
Like breathing yesterday that
Has been forgotten like a setting moon

Soon, the saddest lines will take up
No time. She drew a delicate line and
Her sometimes love was made of
Grains of sand, a poem falling to the soul.

Letting her go as if to bring her here
She used to be near. Your lines helped
Me reach out to touch her ear…
This may be the last poem we write for her.


Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Escribir, por ejemplo : ‘La noche está estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos’.
El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.
Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.
En las noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos.
La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.
Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.
Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.
Oir la noche immensa, más inmensa sin ella.
Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.
Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
La noche está estrellada y ella no está conmigo.
Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.
Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.
La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos arboles.
Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.
Ya no la quiero, es cierto pero cuánto la quise.
Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.
De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.
Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto al amor, y es tan largo el olvido.
Porque en noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos,
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.
Aunque ésta sea el último dolor que ella me causa,
y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.

Unsatisfactory Goodbyes

You didn’t die, but you have gone away.
And I’m the kind of book that still has so much left to say
About the state of us, and then, and always
And the countries of time we allow to pass by.

You can’t hear me over a roar of the distance
We’ve been floating between, but I’m still here.
Which is to say I’m everywhere and nowhere
A shadow of what maybe, one day could have been

I’ve been thinking about our story and how it
Always says goodbye in an unsatisfactory ending…



I thought I lost you the last time
I let a man take a piece of me.
But you can stop hiding
From pain
It’s not raining anymore.
Poetry, you never had to pick a side.
I thought you did. And I cried.
But with/without you, he will never be satisfied.
There’s so much I’ve wanted to say and you weren’t even mine to give away!
Poetry, I’ve been on the wildest ride.
Since we last spoke I’ve discovered being alive
And how to make the most of all the time
We think we have left
And I’ve done too much saying goodbye.
So poetry…
I’ve come back to find you
To convince you to come back and be mine.

This Girl Is Broken

This girl has been broken.
She’s been beaten, and she believes
That everything she is
Should be locked away
In a trophy cabinet of being ashamed.
Her world has taught her
To prepare for the worst
So now she lives inside every
What-if and maybe…
I can see her worth
But from her universe, she can’t.
This girl has been told too many times
That her unconventionality shouldn’t shine.
A child told too often to be quiet.
A woman over-chastised for crying.
This girl is broken and has no idea what loving means
Even herself, though she knows how it feels…
This girl is broken.
And I didn’t do the breaking; but I can repair her.


I’m on fire.
And I’m cold.
But it’s hot.
And all I can think
Is how…


Like nothing
I have ever
Experienced before
And the thrill
Of being burned
Kills me…

Or it
Chills me?

You’re on fire.
I’m close to the heat
And it’s cold.
Flame meet gasoline
All we can do is…


REVIEW: ‘Shoes’ by Sebastian Byrne

Written & Directed by Sebastian Byrne
Hamilton Fringe Festival 2016
@ The Meteor / 3-5 March

So I saw Shoes at The Meteor last night, the debut production of both director/writer Sebastian Byrne and creative collective Gnarly Teapot.

Let me start by saying that writing a play of any length is difficult at the best of times. I can’t even imagine how stressful it must be to be the writer, director and lead actor of a show. I grind my teeth into oblivion with just one job to do!

I’d also like to point out that if it weren’t for the ambitions and risks of young people like Gnarly Teapot, Fringe theatre in Hamilton wouldn’t continue to flourish the way it does currently.

Set in a fast-paced night club, the experience began with a stamp from Tim Kapoor’s disinterested Bouncer. Stoked quips were exchanged between my friend and I about not getting ID’d, and I was instantly sold on the premise. Shoes shows great promise with some accomplished moments of depth, comedy, and relatability.

Unlucky-in-love Ryan, played by Andrew Lyall brought a natural touch that the play needs, even with opening night jitters.

A backlit window arrangement was a clever direction to head in by designer Evie McHugh. (Unfortunately, I was witness to a three-second moment of the director’s shadow slowly lifting a finger to his lips to ‘shush’ another actor; which can be a danger of director doubling up as cast.)

We then line up to embark upon many of the strangers one expects to meet in a play about a night club. The girl whose only goal is to get laid; the group of girls with the guy for his promise of free drinks; the weird guy who’s going to end up getting with the girl who wants to get laid…

Despite some of the cliche, Shoes wouldn’t have been complete without its array of recognisable miscreants.

Then there’s the never-in-a-million-years love story… Between Sam (Alice McConnochie) and Dominic (Sebastian Byrne), the story is underdeveloped or possibly rushed. Alice is beautiful, and she delivers one of the best stage slaps I’ve ever seen, but her character is annoying and unresolved.

Between Ryan and The Foreign Girl (Toni-Elizabeth Green), the story is rather sweet, and as audience members we get it, but we don’t buy it. – Spanner-in-the-works/threat to this love story/unnamed cameo character was played by Liam Hinton, whom I would like to have seen switch roles with Sebastian who aesthetically would have been a better fit for the part.

Usually I find casting Antony Aiono for his comedic ability to be somewhat arbitrary, but as the title character he was a shining light in the play’s opening of dodgy dialogue that didn’t quite encapsulate the way young people speak to each other.

But, the question that sings loudest in my head though: WHY IS IT CALLED SHOES?!?! Obviously the character and the punch line… But, is that it?

While it seems like I may have griped my way through this critique, I think Gnarly Teapot should be really proud of what they’ve put together, and everything they’ve learned along the way.

I for one, will be watching the progress of these youngsters with great enthusiasm, and encourage anyone else to do the same.


348 – Not Pretty Enough

(A performance poem)

Today, I watched the video on Youtube of a woman justifying her right by birth to feel beautiful.

She used phrases like “even though”, “in spite of”, and “despite everything” which brought tears to my eyes.

I wanted to wrap my arms around her size and tell her that she is more than the lack of a gap between her thighs.

What I really wanted to know about her wasn’t the number on the tag of her dress, but how she deals with stress. What it is that she thinks she gives to the universe, and how if she weren’t on this planet, life for someone would be just a little bit worse.

I wanted to breathe in her charisma.

I wanted to click my fingers in the front row to let her know that the poetry she’s slamming is changing me, rearranging me…

In a way that I will never be able to properly thank her for, her poetry was an attempt at saving me…

I was inspired by that big beautiful woman to start writing a new poem of my own called ‘People Who Love Me’ and to finish it by crossing off the name of anyone who has ever made me feel ugly.

For a long time I loved a boy who couldn’t tell me I was appealing, “even though” it was invariably him that instigated being with me sexually. I treasured him “in spite of” beautiful girl after beautiful girl he would love that wasn’t me. And I loved him despite the words he spoke casually.

Like ordering from a drive through…

“I don’t want to be with you.”

And then when I asked him to let me go, he said no.

Today I watched a woman speak about being loved in a way I’ve really only ever dreamed of. She smiled about being left behind as if it were a favourite past time; she acknowledged insecurity as something that’s perfectly normal, and anxiety as if one suffering should be loved anyway.

I was caught off guard by these remarks.

Because I also live in a society that says a scale and some numbers dictate the way it is okay for me to look. I live in a world that will not consider my experience or qualifications because I use crutches to walk. I’ve never been in love which I suspect is because the world has spent my life insisting that I’m not pretty enough.

I am more than what you think I consist of. I am a mountain of struggle, and strength. I am experience.

If nothing else, adjectify me for the capacity I have to forgive, and tolerate, and love.

If you need to validate me by the measure of a number, count the times I have decided on a person’s worth based on whether I like the way they look.


Then quantify that number against your own.

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