Did you get a bad review?

13 April 2017

A poetic response to the criticism of Florence Bell and Lily James, by Miriam Schechter


Listen to me and do not listen to them

They are just small dogs barking at anyone who passes them for some nuggets

They are the 30 seconds of pain after you stub your toe

They are neither friend nor foe

They are airplane turbulence, a little disturbance to an otherwise smooth A to B

They are humidity and stupidity rolled into a piece of bluetack that left a stain on your wall

You know those bathroom stalls where the door just wont shut?

That’s them

They’re an out-of-ink pen halfway through an exam

They’re your twitching diaphragm

Lost signal in the middle of your favourite programme

They are a TUNC anagram

They are your infected piercing

If you find yourself near them, remember that all they are are the moist gale that turned your umbrella inside out

Do not doubt that they are a flickering bathroom light

A rip in a new pair of tights

They are the piece of snot that you flicked behind the sofa

So far, all they are is the last stretch of road before the bus comes

They are the piece of gum that your mum had to cut out of your hair with scissors

But while you’re sitting there looking in the mirror

See that you are a mountain

And however strong their arms are, they cannot move you

You are lava, and however thick their gloves are, they cannot touch you

You are a tree trunk, and however fast they run they cannot sway you

You are the air and even with their eyes open wide they cannot see you

You are the sun and they cannot face you

You are the wind and the waves and they cannot catch you and they cannot stop you

You are the stars and even if they stacked every ladder in the world they wouldn’t be able to reach you

So listen to me, and do not listen to them

Do not look at them

Do not think of them

Send them a roll of eyes that will clumsily unravel and spill all over the floor

Pause time, open their fridge door and eat the low fat yoghurts they keep in there to calm their smelly farts

Then over-toast their pop tarts and scrape the burnt bits into their underwear

Be a nightmare where all the ink in their pens have run out because you’ve written your name a million times on their bedroom wall

But don’t be a fool

Remember that all they are is the advert on TV that you turned the sound off to

You made a sandwich instead

And man, was that sandwich tasty.


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