It’s the end of summer and summer, for me in my day to day job, is intensely busy and somewhat stressful but I tend to find this kind of deadline-based stress a motivator, so it hasn’t been all that bad.
Running the magazine takes up an enormous amount of my free time, enjoyable as it is plus then there’s evaluating manuscripts (which I do privately) which also takes up time but is still fun. Over-all I’m pretty busy a lot of the time, but I think I’m happiest like this. Honestly, I think I’d go stark raving mad sitting around watching movies every evening (although there is a decent amount of time dedicated to that too, I have to admit).
My first collection, Rituals, is in the final stages of editing and publication. My editors Robyn and Lance have been amazing to work with, I haven’t seen the finalised cover yet (which I’m a little nervous about) but I trust their eye and their choices. The artist, Tim Durham, is pretty cool. I don’t, as of yet, have a definitive publication date but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned around and said “Two weeks!”, which in itself is nerve-racking.
I’m very honoured though to have blurbs by amazing poets like Maggie Smith, Chen Chen and Blas Falconer- one of which I have seen (Chen Chen’s very beautiful and generous blurb)-
“Pale stars wink jealousies at my feet and I walk godly.” Lorcán Black’s Rituals is the restless, roaming lovechild of Neruda and Trakl, with some fiery genetic material borrowed from Plath, as well. These poems walk toward and through wreckage at once ordinary and surreal—a family, an asylum, a body learning fraught desires, the “eerie / whiteness” of Antarctica, and a “window suck[ing] its slice of moon / in the mirror of its mouth.” Piercing in its vulnerability, this book often achieves a magical authority at the same time. Black dares to speak in the voice of a sorcerer, an oracle, a god: “Watch: I shall the call the elements, / I shall cast sacrilegious circles in sand.” This is a collection of dark yet gleaming marvels.
It’s such a beautiful, kind thing to say about a book I put so much work into and man, coming from Chen Chen, it’s a definite confidence booster but I, typically, never allow myself to get too excited about these things but even still, it’s nice to have the backing of your peers.
It’s a strange concept, to know that something you’ve spent years working on will soon be out there, in the world. It will no longer be this private thing I worked on, alone, it will soon have other eyes on it. Other minds interpreting into it ideas and themes I did not have when I wrote it. That’s really the thrilling part, that on publication it can sort of take on its own life after me, away from me, in the hands of other people.
There is so much change happening right now. The book is being released soon, my job is going well and my role progressing in small but important ways, I’m single again after almost six years (nothing acrimonious, in fact just the opposite, which is lovely) and even the podcast is improving and moving on, expanding. It’s exciting and I’m nervous about all of these separate things but I’m also grateful.
More than anything, I think gratitude is what I’m feeling on most days. Even on the not so great days- and that’s really saying something.