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.

Painting the Poet: Chords of Inquiry by Anna Loughran

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.

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