BLUE MONDAY, guest publication - Zara Joan Miller and JOAN Publishing
when the wind turns east
taking a strand of hair or
2 with it
you’re at the border,
checking for surplus
once a year you
treat yourself to
a cherry coke but
not that day
Populated by strangers and lovers, the living and the dead, BLUE MONDAY moves across domestic and imagined landscapes exploring the cultural phenomenon of “Blue Monday”. Folding four calendar years into one, these poems trace the seasons and an ever-shifting experience of being in the world. How light can alter the texture of things. How days may be blue elsewhere, with their own purpose.
‘With refreshing self-awareness and flecks of macabre humour, Miller plunges us into tableaux of claustrophobic domestic coupledom – its failed promises and potential for perpetual fantasy – and the mundane but beautiful minutiae of daily existence. Staggering between despair and desire, the voice of these fragments is wonderfully observant and raw.’
- Daniella Shreir
‘Blue Monday is an intimate and playful collection that zeros in on the minute and the everyday in startling detail. I loved the hypnotic, stream-of-consciousness voice throughout and the often surprising sentiments that come from it. There's a tenderness in these poems and a restlessness. I could read these poems over and over again’.
- Jennifer Obidike
‘Maybe blue is the most synaesthetic of colours. It feels, it sounds, it smells, it moves. In British Sign Language the colour blue is voiced by one hand drawing circles on the inside of the other hand's wrist. Blue pulse (of course!). But our bluest of blues of the sky and the sea are in fact illusions, scatterings and absorptions. As in the blue of a day when the mind scatters and skin absorbs more than the normal and reality blurs: one creates or one fades.
Yet the "blue monday" is one gaslit monday. The day is said to be blue until it fades into nothing but that kind of blue. And we have to refuse. In Blue Monday, Zara Joan Miller refuses by writing daily poetry with absorbing intimacy and scattering ambiguity. Her voice moves us along a pulsing timeline of three years collapsed into one. Consecutive days may all turn into mondays before another month passes. Time expands and contracts. And reading on and reading all we arrive at a newly lit sense of home, love, loss and wonder as unquestioned presences in any moment's particular blue.’
- Ute Kanngießer
Zara Joan Miller was born in Brighton, England and now lives in London. She is a writer, artist and filmmaker. BLUE MONDAY is her first poetry collection.