So You Want to Earn Some Self-Respect
As a writer, you learn how to handle rejection. Oh, they don’t understand it, they didn’t get it, they don’t recognise genius when it’s posted to them, you say, and then kid yourself some more. I know how to take rejection, I’ve rejected myself many times, had to choose between myself and some better person, a crowd of better people and I told myself they are no better, then in a quieter voice I admitted something not as sharp as defeat but dull acceptance of what had come to pass. Yes, I can take rejection, I have looked in the mirror and rejected myself many a morning and will do so for weeks and years to come and then soon I will stare at the reflection, I will stare it out until it bends, it morphs, my hard eyes mould it into something resembling a light, a ray of energy, at tiger, I will forge self-respect out of that reflection and stamp it all over that bloody, clear, mocking, clean mirror. Then I will exhale and leave the bathroom, I’ll go write a poem, a bunch of poems, muse on them for a few days, and then discover another poetry journal to send them to, then the whole sorry, degrading, character-building process will begin all over again.
Bio: Colin Dardis is a neurodivergent poet, editor and sound artist from Northern Ireland. His latest collection is All This Light To See The Dead: Pandemic Journals 2020-21 (Rancid Idols Productions, 2022). His work, largely influenced by his experiences with depression and Asperger’s, has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA, and shortlisted for the Erbacce Prize, Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing, and Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Award, amongst others. Previous collections include Endless Flower (Rancid Idols Productions, 2021) The Dogs of Humanity (Fly on the Wall Press, 2019, shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet, Saboteur Awards 2020), the x of y (Eyewear, 2018), Post-Truth Blues (Locofo Chaps, 2017) and Dōji: A Blunder (Lapwing, 2013). His latest album, a long-form ambient piece, is Back To Work (1tracktape, 2021