Debbie Walsh – Three

We’re very pleased to bring you a hello from writer Debbie Walsh, one of the many great performers we’ve got cooking in preparation for our next event, Third Time Lucky. She also shares a sneaky preview of the piece she’ll be reading on the night…

How to introduce one’s self and light a fire for potential?

My name’s Debbie Walsh and I’m a writer, would be performer and I’ll be performing a subverted polylogue* at First Draft’s Third Time Lucky event in June 2015.

I’ve a sequence of poems published by the excellent Knives Forks and Spoons Press entitled Nimbus Movements and the work spans time, location and emotion. I’m published in various anthologies like the Loose Muse Anthology and my work is available to read online through, magazine, Dark Journal Press and others.

I studied at Edge Hill University and was awarded MA with distinction and the Rhiannon Evans Poetry Scholarship in 2011. I’m interested in Structural Poetry – Open Field Poetics and Post-Post Modernist ideas about the ‘meaning’ and ‘reality’ of language and how this changes constantly when mediated through the complex experiences of the reader, listener, observer and so on.

The polylogue I’ll be hoping to perform at First Draft on 15th June 2015 will involve engaging audience members within the spoken word performance with the hope that not only will the text changed by the digestion of those listening and observing but that those who engage via answers to questions will riff changes making more new textual/ spoken structures.

Please do feel free to read my work, and be part of the performance with me – help me fire the potential in the words.

*We looked this up. It means ‘a speech delivered by multiple people’. Duh.

Picasso three figures under a tree

Picasso three figures under a tree


by Debbie Walsh

There are five sounds for the letter ‘a’ in English like

Bat, Bathe, Ball and Oh’ that’s just three – guess three’s enough to remember- the rest happen anyway and maybe there’s more than five ways to sound out ‘a’ but who’s counting? Three’s an insignificant number – its small and yet in another context it’s a crowd – in another context it’s fun and  yet… The big question: – does 3 have its own autonomy? … can a number, a unit of logic, a signifier, a cultural measure, an abstract thing ever be autonomous?

You say so – but do you know so? Do you conjecture, think, proffer or do you really care at all?

I’ll tell you what I think:

Three measures the number of times my son went to Afghanistan

Three measures his injuries

He lost almost 3 stones in weight

And each day felt like 3 days then 3 weeks then measure numbs and you count the time in the beads of fear sweating down your neck and in the quick sips of water three times an hour – three Chinook helicopters, end to end that’s 3 x 30 meters, almost – they’re armed with three weapons: 2 six barrel mini guns at the side doors and a machine gun at the rear and they can defend and kill three fold and three fold and my heart folds  and the world folds and the sky folds and there is nothing free in a folded world…. no thing.

How many times have you fallen in love – really fallen in love?

How deeply did you fall? Always?

I’ve been in love a few times but most significantly 3…

How does love feel at 17? There’s the song but it wasn’t mine; it was a new feeling – he wanted me and I needed his want to quiet every ache within; the pain of living in an unhappy home, the fear of alienation, the torment and confusion in my feelings for girls. I needed to believe in this love and then, in the trajectory. FROM all that I had been and I thought I would be, JUST then I thought I was in love…                                   

And your first love… how did it feel?

When I first saw her I felt my pulse stop shocked by the force of attraction.  And every cliché sang inside my head my whole waking days; my sleepless, restless nights – and all this ‘love stuff’ became true but the years flattened everything – she left me by text message, she’d unlimited text messages and threw one my way and I began to dis-in-te-grate.


“Never mind I’ll find someone like you

I wish nothing but the best for you, too

Don’t forget me, I beg. I remember you said

Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

And it hurt – and the pills stuck and burnt my throat and as blood splashed across my chest I fell into a spiral and I never hit the ground. ‘Love O’ Love’ what the fuck had you done?

There’s a third moment but its hidden in particles of time – I’ve felt it close by –  the sticky sex of it visceral and scented – I hold this love at my arms length… not because I’m fuck-up but because I’m only paper lantern whole.

Debbie Walsh

Debbie Walsh


Linky bits

Want to join Debbie and perform at our 3rd birthday party on Monday 15 June? Only a couple of performance slots left, so hop to it, quick!

If you’ve ever performed at one of our events, and have something you’d like us to showcase on this blog, get in touch!

Watch this space for some big announcements from First Draft over the next few weeks. Keep in touch by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter


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