[CROSSING THE RUBICON] Ep. 1: Poetry with Bev O’Malley

Maddy: Hi, I’m Maddy Fisher and this is Crossing the Rubicon, SPAs poetry podcast. In this episode, I will be interviewing sophomore Bev O’Malley about their experience writing poetry.

For Bev, poetry can provide an escape.

O’Malley: Not to be cliche, but kind of mental illness stuff really impacts how I write, and where I get inspiration and it’s just a source of letting things out for me. I don’t know I feel like a lot of people find poetry, like overdone or cheesy, but when you do it right, it can be really beautiful and it’s an underrated medium, I think. I really enjoy it.

Maddy: Though inspiration often comes from their experience with mental illness, Bev is also influenced by the work of other poets.

O’Malley: I get in a writing mood I will probably by then already have like a certain line and I just kind of build around that. I don’t read a lot of poetry, but definitely when I do I get into a writing mood, you know, it helps set the tone if I want to write poetry that day. So, if I want to write poetry I’ll usually read poetry beforehand.

Maddy: Bev’s favorite piece from their poetry is their four-line poem, The End.

Bev: “Nothing ever ends poetically, it ends and we turn it into poetry, all that blood was never once beautiful, it was always just red. I don’t know, I like it because it’s true, like, people romanticize things that don’t need to be romanticized and it can be harmful.”

Maddy: For Bev, poetry can be somewhat personal.

O’Malley: Mostly I write it for myself. I have like a whole folder full of poems. And I’ve only shared, maybe half of them, like to the public or friends or family. So mostly I write them for myself, but sometimes I write them to send a message like I did with that last poem I just read, but mostly it’s just kind of random spilling words out on the page.

Maddy: Bev shared two other poems I will be reading, Era and Reflection.


I watched her as she slipped away
But couldn’t quite comprehend
That I was losing her
Til she was already lost,
Shadow dripping along behind her
And melting into gold under the
Streetlamps, smoke clouding her face
And in the eerie, sudden silence
She didn’t hear me whisper
“Maybe in another life, my dear.”


only in a perfect world –
with old books and lavender perfume and
soft music and love letters and
vanilla candles and rainy days
could i ever really
love the mirror

Maddy: Bev encourages other people to view poetry in a different light.

O’Malley: People will make writing poetry out to be really difficult but it’s really not like, I don’t know, English teachers make it be like ‘oh there’s all these rules’ like okay if you want to follow the rules you can but also you can—oh my god this is gonna sound cheesy—well, you can make rules for poetry, just like do what you want and if you think it sounds good, then it sounds good.

Maddy: Thank you to Bev O’Malley for sharing their story. Once again, I’m Maddy Fisher, and this has been Crossing the Rubicon.

Adding The Sun by Kevin MacLeod
Link: Adding The Sun
License:Creative Commons