#haikureview: Self Injurious Behavior


Ars Poetica
Apr 30 · 2 min read
Jessica Cavanagh with Jude Segrest

I met her when we were writing free custom poems for shoppers at The Strand for National Poetry Month. She was visiting for a few weeks — brought here from Dallas with a team of people putting on an original play about a woman whose son has severe autism, and how she copes with deciding to send him to a live-in education institution.

I said, “I have to see it.”

This is the best thing right? No reviews, no expectations, just meeting an earnest young person passionate about a project they are working on and saying, “I want to experience your talent and hard work too.”

I saw the play last night, and was left nearly speechless.

smother the mother

smothering the sorrow she

feels too deep to say

It was obvious that the cast had a deep familial bond — I found out afterward that the star, Jessica Cavanagh, is actually the writer too, and that the story is inspired by her lived experience — almost the whole team has been working on the project together since its inception in Dallas nearly six years ago. Some actors even took on two roles, Ian Ferguson creating a perfect poetry with the redemption arc of his two alternatingly hateful, adorable, and relatable characters.

create a family

the father can play two roles

well, if he means it

It was a beautiful moment when, toward the end (no spoilers) I was joined by multiple other people in the small theater, all crying along with me. As we cried along with the three heartfelt, loving, and completely embodied women who played the sisters: Jessica Cavanagh, Jennifer Kuenzer, and Danielle Pickard, I felt so much sadness, so much empathy, and so much… peace.

the final bow when

you realize they pulled your heart

made you an arrow

I can’t recommend the play highly enough — and Jude Segrest, the young actor that plays the autistic son was absolutely stunning as well, so thoughtful and mature. OK I need to stop so I can go on with my day, but please do grab a ticket before the short run is over — and the proceeds all go to supporting families affected by autism.

Much love,

LAMARKS, Ars Poetica

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