Two Poems by Emily Corwin
Krys Malcolm Belc on today’s bonus poems: Emily Corwin's feminist explorations of horror classics made me want to watch these films again with a new lens. These poems are precise and playful and powerful. Their grotesquerie pushes the reader to sit with and reimagine the women of horror. Dive in, and then plan yourself a movie marathon.
After Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
There’s our evening. I turn up like paraffin burning in your haystack,
in the south pasture. How I hate to drag you out of bed at this hour.
Botched with the pitchfork, prickling in my gingham strapless with the bolero.
Mine was not an ordinary body. Maybe the result of atomic radiation in the
surrounding plant and animal life. Too late to warn the others, inconsolable.
I become reanimated, become the host—I am making spoon bread. No, no, you
mustn’t go near it. In the hothouse, in gestation, I am slaked in sodium, carbonated.
A face pasted on, the dimensions almost that of a woman. Almost yours.
after Cat People (1942)
You’re Irena, you’re in America. In America, I enjoy the organ grinder,
the soda stand, brownstones furnished in chintz, hair coiffed in victory
rolls, glistening vivid. I don’t feel you can help me. You want me to carry
some means of protection, an instrument of death. Someone walked over
my grave with a scabbard. Something clambered over me with cheek glands,
ear leather, jowls. I yowl, in a paillette sequin cape, inside a schooner glass
of sherry. You’ll be torn all to ribbons, in my abattoir. Wait, just a moment,
dear. Won’t you keep still, please? Be my loveseat, mine to perforate,
the junco birds I flay with phalanges, the claw that elongates.
Emily Corwin is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Indiana University-Bloomington and the former poetry editor for Indiana Review. Her writing has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, New South, THRUSH, and elsewhere. In 2018, her first book, tenderling, was released from Stalking Horse Press and her second book, Sensorium, is forthcoming with the University of Akron Press. You can follow her online at @exitlessblue.