“Only a dark cocoon, before I get my gorgeous wings
and I fly away. Only a phase, these dark café days.”
— Joni Mitchell ‘The Last Time I Saw Richard’
Chords of Inquiry, Anna Loughran. The Lifeboat Press, £6.50
What better way to start a pamphlet of poems than with the knowledge that chords of inquiry is a term Joni Mitchell coins in place of a suspended chord (i.e. when a major or minor third is omitted in place of a perfect fourth). A carefully chosen title, I think, given the poems to follow. Something that piqued my (musical) ears regarding this title is the potential for a suspension to not resolve itself; this tension is the clay Anna Loughran uses to sculpt poems. For sure, in Joni’s vein, these poems have a question mark skating through the pamphlet as a whole. An at once serious, moody question mark and in another shade, a light, playfully inquisitive one.