Keeping a head up, but only a bit


Being a writer receiving a low to middling-low amount of attention, I am thinking tonight about the balancing we always have to try between our grand successes and our Submittable failures (or more, our ‘Withdraw Your In Progress Submission As Results For Said Thing Were Announced’).

#ShareYourRejections but #CelebrateYourAcceptances are great, and I love the solidarity writers are showing to one another by sharing the biggest bollocking you can get as a writer. Not this time. It is a balls that we have to struggle through these muddy years of telling ourselves that the rejections are always called for, that there is so much more we could have done, but balanced with a ‘i-am-worthwhile, i-am-improving, i-can-do-it’ kind of attitude.

My self-esteem-but-not-too-much-of-it is getting cross at me, and doesn’t know what to do with itself.

The machine (mine) is starting to get that sad kind of lazy.

I haven’t played videogames in such a long time.


The Art of Goodbye: Crucial Texts (1)

(Tom Burke and Helen McCrory in the National Theatre’s recent run of The Deep Blue Sea)

The Deep Blue Sea, Terrence Rattigan (1952)

The action passes during the course of a day in September in the sitting-room of a furnished flat in the north-west of London.  

Perspective shifting book number one. The Deep Blue Sea is a gloriously crafted play by Rattigan. Set in post-war Britain, Hester Collyer is embroiled in a fiery affair with an ex-RAF pilot (Freddie); a sharp, passionate man in whom Hester finds a passionate, carnal reciprocation that she is denied in her marriage to a high-court judge (Collyer). The poignant autobiographical influence of this play is clear. Rattigan’s lover, Kenny Morgan, committed suicide by gassing himself before a fireplace, and the tableau vivant greeting audiences is the leading actress attempting the same thing.

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Reflection (1)

[Beginning a series of minute posts that examine certain poems in detail, forming a thought diary of what I’m reading as I trawl through poems by the bucket-load. Not a guarantee that all poems contained within one discrete post can be linked, just what is occupying my brain space.]


And Soul by Eavan Boland

Smooth Horizon of the Verb Love by Nicole Brossard

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Help With Sleeping

A brief post / discovery I made over the past couple of days, and how it’s, strangely for me anyway, bringing me more equanimity at night.

Max Richter (composer I hold near and dear) recently released a night-long album; Richter’s personal lullaby for a frenetic world as he self-describes. A lullaby indeed, but one that doesn’t stop throughout the night (a thought I find lovely, less so you, maybe, depending on how light a sleeper you are).

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Passing Time

Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning
of a certain end.
The other, the end of a
sure beginning.” — from Passing Time by Maya Angelou

Today marked the final day of classes (assuming-strike-continuing) in my undergraduate career. Very exciting! Somewhat scary, largely feeling thrown unto the pale, but I’m feeling a positive tone seeping before this post is written so let’s keep along that current.
All that stands between all of us final years and the gaping abyss is a few essays, a few booky projects (which I am SO excited for) a dissertation, maybe?

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Dehumanising the Drag Performer

My favourite drag performer needs some time, and they should take all the time they need. Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova (Екатерина Петро́вна Замоло́дчикова), the stage name of Brian McCook, recently took to social media to tell how they plan to take time off and postpone their extensive tour schedule; anyone who is familiar with Katya even superficially could surmise in the 3+ years since her first season on RuPaul’s Drag Race she’s been flat to the mat (to use the colloquial term).

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Academic Restructuring: A Reproach of QUB’s Administration

For those who aren’t bracingly familiar, QUB recently shifted the academic structure so that all assignments are due in the twelfth week of teaching rather than after the Christmas period. This resulted in an accumulating of things; most strikingly visualised in student stress and anxiety, trying to dual wield preparing for a week’s worth of classes and also researching and executing our own essays. As such, students began to drop off in classes because they physically couldn’t manage the combined workload. It came to a point where I had to email a tutor and ask if I could miss a seminar because it wasn’t within the critical field of my own research interests, in favour of library time. While I think students do right to focus on their own work and incrementally reduce their own stresses, I feel it is criminal to enforce a structure that essentially necessitates students miss classes (that they are paying massive money for!).

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