This is the age of the inspirational. We wake up each morning to a torrent of messages on social media informing us that if we ‘be ourselves’ and ‘believe in ourselves’ we can achieve the impossible. Transformation will be quick and painless. A screen full of medicine men (and women) selling easy answers with beautiful backdrops. Conversely when we do achieve something there are legions of ‘trolls’ ready to lay siege to us. The age of the inspirational is an age of extremes. Love is public and anger is quick to surface. We search for the impossible and when it can’t be found we want to scorch the earth. Our loves, our hates, are quick. Our fear is now public domain.
This fear remains in the ether, an indistinct agent in our psychological lives, both invisible and disturbing as hypothetical warfare. When we feel under attack it solidifies and we name it. It is in naming the thing that should be feared that it comes into focus, even merely as mirage or red herring. By naming it, mythologizing it, adorning it with colours and connotations so as to turn it into a child’s villain, we cast it from ourselves and make it temporarily stable enough to identify: a tangible enemy. A named fear is a catalyst for all that frightens, within and beyond ourselves. Telling a story of good and evil, of black and white masks the problematic complexity of these qualities incestuous and changeful relationship. Light can obscure as much as darkness, and on each the other depends for definition.
Red Mercury is a mythical explosive. Abridged in 0 – 48: Mercury Red explores our need for immediate public affirmation, our virtual emotional lives and our search for the impossible personally and as a society then the anger when we realise our Nirvana is unattainable. Submissions may be up to three poems and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in Word format or as part of the email. Art should be up to A4 landscape in size and 300 dpi or above. Please note this is a landscape format issue rather than our usual portrait. Deadline is 23rd September.
"Time held me green and dying Though I sang in my chains like the sea."
"When the heart weeps for what it has lost the spirit laughs for what it has found."
"(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands"
Orla Fay is a member of Boyne Writers Group. In 2001 she won the Meath Chronicle/Bookwise Short Story Competition and in 2003 the Drogheda Creative Writers Adult Poetry Competition. In 2004 she had a poem commended in the Golden Pen Poetry Competition and in 2005 she was awarded 3rd place in the Dunlavin Poetry Competition and published in the 23rd Dunlavin Festival of Arts Annual. She has been published in the Meath Chronicle, New Poems of Oriel (2006), Boyne Berries Magazine, Crannog Magazine, Revival Poetry Journal, The Sharp Review, Ropes 2010, NUIG's Writers' Society's Writers' Exchange Chapbook, Riposte, Wordlegs, The Linnet's Wings, The Stony Thursday Book 2011 & 2013, thefirstcut, Shot Glass Journal, Census 3, Silver Blade Magazine, HeadSpace, Outburst, The Galway Review, The Artistic Atlas of Galway, Shamrock Haiku Journal, Carillon, The Poetry Porch, Three Drops from a Cauldron, The Ofi Press, Headstuff, Abridged, Amaryllis, The Pickled Body, A New Ulster, Tales from the Forest, The Honest Ulsterman, Lagan Online, An Anthology of Reactions, The Rose Magazine, Orbis and The Ogham Stone 2017. In 2008 she was a finalist in the Meath County Library Eist Poetry Competition. In 2009 she had a poem commended in the Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award. In 2010 she had a poem highly commended in the Windows Publications Cavan Crystal Poetry Award. In 2011 she had a story selected for The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions in The Irish Writers' Centre. In June 2012 she published her poetry chapbook Drawn to the Light. She was a featured reader at O'Bheal in Cork in March 2013. She was highly commended for poetry in The Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards in October 2013 and long-listed in the WOW fiction Awards 2014. She was longlisted for poetry in The Anthony Cronin International Poetry Prize 2017, The Fish Poetry Prize 2017 and The Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition 2017 and shortlisted in The Rush Poetry Competition 2017, The Dermot Healy Poetry Award 2017 and The Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition 2017.