Sunday, 9 October 2011

Breaking up is hard to do or a magazine is not a person stupid

I was sitting next to PAN's excellent poetry editor, and good friend, Tim Sinclair when I tipped from relief into sorrow. I told him and he understood. You see Tim is a writer, a poet, a good one. He has lived that moment over and over again.

Last Wednesday night issue #2 of PAN magazine launched. People are telling me they had a good time at the party. I'm glad they did because I didn't. I hated most of it.* You can see how I can't even write a sentence with any sense of flow about this. Not even one. They are short and choppy and make hard little bitter feelings in my chest. I hated the anxiety, the anticipation, the organisation and most of all I hated the moment when I tipped from relief straight into sorrow.

I know it is only a magazine, a transitory thing designed to be held, read, stored on a coffee table then eventually recycled or filed away, but it is my magazine. The team at PAN HQ are astonishing but at the end of the day it is mine and I live it, every article, photograph, illustration, comma and inch of white space. I live it. Will it into being. Every decision comes through me, whether it is someone else's or mine the final say sits on my conscience. And then suddenly it is done. And I am exhausted.

It feels like breaking up. It feels like there was this huge relationship taking all my energy, all my time, all my love and then it is gone and I just didn't know what to do with myself. At the end of issue #1 I got the flu and sweated and slept my through a week. This time I took to my bed voluntarily and ate ice cream and watched movies, for four whole days. At night I cried in my sleep, in the morning I didn't brush my hair, I ate jam biscuits in bed for breakfast, drank coffee all day, ate mushrooms and cheese followed by ice cream then cried while I watched yet another film. I did this day after day after day.

And then it was done, and I was back and this is the most surprising thing of all. I can't wait to get started on issue #3.

Moments I didn't hate:
1. When my mum, and her partner and my brother and his girlfriend and her brother and their mum and Grizelda, came to The World Bar, just for me.
2. The readings. Watching a room full of people engaged, breathing in time with the lungs of a reader. Watching them clasp their hands unconsciously, physically waiting to receive the next word.
3. When Spencer played an impromptu fill-in set for Kirin J Callinan, who was having car trouble, and he let me choose which song he played next.
4. Watching A.H. Cayley read her for the first time, she fucking nailed it.
5. Seeing members of team PAN look proud of what they had done. They deserve every good feeling.
6. This slightly blurry photo of my mum reflected in a mirror, listening to Pip Smith read her work (taken by Nick Tuyau).

Bring on issue #3. I have so many new ideas.

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