How are you all?
I have been MIA because publishing is a busy business (plus I got Covid for the first time & had two of my own books picked up this year).
So, how are you? Who should I be reading? Who has new publications off Prose out in the litworld? Who has questions I can help with (as an EIC) about publishing?
Full disclosure, I am not paying for a subscription. I paid for Gold for a reeeeeally long time even when I was not using the site, and it's not in my budget anymore, so please don't send me anyone behind a paywall.
Mine is a reference to the E.E. Cummings poem, “I like my body when it is with your” I picked it like ten years ago now, but it stuck, and I use it for my photography and art as well. Here’s the piece -
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones,and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the,shocking fuzz
of your electric furr,and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,
and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you so quite new
I owe a couple of you Querencia contracts, and I have some new posts to read.
I got really exciting news today and decided to take some me time to celebrate in light of that.
I received a scholarship for a Sundress writing fellowship this summer for only 14 authors with only 3 scholarships being awarded!
I should be catching up on all press stuff tomorrow. Thank you to everyone here for being my community for a long time now.
I am incredibly saddened and disappointed at the responses to this challenge. I don’t think calling someone cisgender is a way to “hate on them” unless you believe the opposite—that calling someone transgender is a way to hate on them.
It is very straightforward term with no opinion and only fact behind it only meant to distinguish someone who was assigned male or female at birth and relates to that gender as they have grown into the person they have become. There is also Intersex or Eunuch, etc.
I am cisgender because I was assigned female at birth and it is the correct gender for me. But there are people born with both sexual organs whose parents arbitrarily pick a gender for them who could say the same. But if they were assigned female and identified as male despite having the biological anatomy they would not be cisgender. Cisgender doesn’t mean “biologically” male or female and I think that’s a really important distinction that it seems most of these challenge responses are leaving out.
What connotation someone places on the word matters (as any word), but the word itself does not mean anything offensive and only helps affirm people who are living a very difficult lifestyle.
It is so easy for someone not affected by a problem to say something like “we don’t need more labels”. No one is upset when someone calls them able-bodied. Cisgender is a similar distinction to wrap your head around. Adding your pronouns after your name might not be important to you, but creating the ubiquity of it it can be the difference between someone spiraling into a suicidal depression from being misgendered and made to feel like their own self and self opinion is unimportant and disrespected.
be better to eachother
Tell me what’s fun?
Heat, press against you. Exit body, exit body. Emergency-exit fucking room. Steamed-breath, press sticky against windows. Swallow his request. Swallow his pushing. Exit body. Ignore his pushing. Ignore your softness. Ignore your heat. Ignore his softness. Remember the ache. Remember the matched heartbeats. Remember the hands pressed to hands. Remember when you wanted this. Remember when he wanted you. Remember it as wanting. Imagine it as wanting.
He took too much. But once he smelled like summer. Once he was the beach. Once he was warm breath colliding against warm breath. And he took too much. But once he was soft eyes. Once he was whispered secrets against neck. And I’m sorry that I always let him take too much. And I’m sorry I make him take too much. But imagine it as wanting.
And I’m never enough. He’s holding me-transparent, and looking right through. But remember it as wanting. Remember it as wanting. Imagine it as wanting.
when they say, “it’s the little things”
on the counter is the mug with the chipped handle and a ring from the cup of ice water that I poured in the orchids, there is really only one orchid, but it felt better than saying that I split it with the monstera, that night I will not sleep, the bedroom door is painted in three parts Bit O Sugar and one part Lamb’s Skin with two packets of glitter to remind myself that I love the sunlight, the idea will clog up behind my eyelids, twinkle against the worry that I might forget these thoughts by morning, and both will coalesce with the sound of the fan and the sound of the wind, and I will bolt up from almost sleep and remember that there is a light I forgot in the violet room, it will be bouncing off the mirror, I will pretend to sleep, and the black sheets will pretend to be satin, there is still packing to do for the weekend, the floors are not swept, this is most likely not a poem, but you’re reading it, and I wait for my coffee with a headache
Gluttony - I may have posted this before?
He licks his berry-stained fingers, sucking sticky sugar and who knows what else from beneath the nails.
“You know that’s filthy?” Clara’s eyes search his face. He’s all angles. With how easily he devours food you’d expect curves and rolling skin.
Heath leans back in his chair. Appraising. Giving her a once over. “Perhaps,” he pauses, slipping his finger back into the sweet filling pouring out from the crumb in front of him. He leans into her and feels her breath catch as he wipes the sticky mess across her mouth. Their faces almost touch, and she’s still not breathing. “Tastes good though,” he exhales as his tongue pushes its way into her mouth.
And he’s right.
It’s like eating light. It’s like drowning in oxygen. And she cannot stop. It is a hunger she could never describe. And she cannot stop. Her insides are bursting, but she cannot stop. The process of eating this cake has become her one and only need. And it never ends. And Clara must eat it all before he gets the chance to take anymore from her. She feels sick. She wants to stop. She needs to stop. She is suffocating. Food filling her so fast that her stomach cannot contain it. Red dripping from her mouth.
Heath holds her face down in the viscid expanse of sweet debris. “It’s alright, love. Keep going until you can’t. Keep going until your heart stops…”
And Clara weeps as the syrup fills her up. The sugar rushing through her veins, crashing into her heart. And her body cannot keep up. But still she wants more. And just when she thinks she will not fill until it is too late, he pulls her neck back. Her throat is exposed and her mouth is begging her to dig back in. “My turn,” he whispers and sucks every last bit of her out. And he keeps going until she can’t. He keeps going until her heart stops. Sticky morsels clinging to his throat. He keeps going because he can’t stop.
Swallow - Excerpt
I found her in the garden, surrounded by my skeleton. My ribs, a clamped-shut jaw. Her fingers white-knuckling my moon-bleached bones. She doesn’t raise her head, until I am close enough to touch her. I want to touch her. She’s not wearing anything, and her skin is an eruption of nerve-endings. Her eyes are frantic. Fluttering, pacing, glimmering-ghosts. She is unfocused. Kneeling in fresh soil. The earth pooling around her. I’m caging her in. I’m holding her hostage. She’s still. She’s pacing. She’s looking at me, but not. Eyes glassy. Spectral stare. Staring, but not. I want to touch her. She presses her face between my last two, true ribs – T6, T7. She opens her mouth. Staring, but not. Her tongue is shining, too red for this world. Her tongue is made of rose petals. Her tongue is licking my bones. Not moon-bleached. Sucked dry. Expertly cleaned. Her red roses are tumbling around my sternum. She is my sternum. She’s eating me from the inside. She’s stealing the meat of me. She is licking her lips. Salivating. Staring, not-staring. She’s pouring out ghosts. I am losing time.
“I haven’t been able to sleep.”
The tonguing ceases. There is wet glittering at the corners of her mouth. She nods.
It echoes across my bones. Rattles my innards. Feathers kiss the inside of my mouth. Wings beat and float around inside my windpipe. They’re trying to escape. Her voice clangs against my internal organs. Resounding cacophony, clashing through costal cartilage. Roses bloom from the spots she touched. Thorns caressing my veins. Symphony of growing sounds. Growing blossoms. Growing birds. She’s flourishing. She wants out. I break the floating ribs – T11, T12. They splinter away in shards. They’re rushing through me. Targeting my heart. And I am the sternum. And she is the cage. I found her in the garden. Surrounded by my skeleton. I’m peering between bars of thoracic cage. I’m surrounded by my skeleton. Or is this hers? She’s licking the bones. She’s planting seeds. Is this mine or is this hers?
My tongue pushes between my lips, involuntary. I’m salivating. I’m resisting. I’m losing. I’m tasting her ribs. I’m lapping up marrow. Is this mine or is this hers? I am insatiable. Ravenous hunger overpowering insomnia. We are eating to burst. Resistant-tongue grazing petal-tongue. Tastebuds brushing velvet. I am the sternum. I am the hunger. I am the starving. I’m filling with perennial, rebirth. There are vines bursting through me. Climbing my walls. Rebuilding my structure. My bones are wasting away. Saliva eating at the surface. Whittling me down. I’m eating myself out of house and home. I am built of glass. Botanic conservatory. I am transparent. I am spectral. I am verdant. Our eyes meet. She is my resurrection. We are becoming one. We are many. We are one. She is we. I am we. We are we. We are swallowing light. There is no light. What is light? Floral nectar rushes through our veins. We suck out life. We are filling. We are flourishing. We are one.
We eat ourselves, raw.
(this excerpt is from my novella Swallow - available in print here https://www.amazon.com/Swallow-Emily-Perkovich/dp/180016291X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3P8FEJBR0B4Z2&keywords=swallow+emily+perkovich&qid=1680132930&sprefix=swallow+emily+perkovich%2Caps%2C156&sr=8-1 - or lmk if you'd like a complimentary digital copy in exchnage for a review)
The covers wear into their inevitable softness
Let the sheers shudder over a crying morning
Fall into a blushing night
There is someone always reaching into the center of the knot
There is a crooked finger
A scratching nail
A freckled chest takes the bullet
How could I do anything but,
I’m learning swan dives in the key of delusions on high
But there is someone many-limbed, hands outstretched
There is a net of appendages
I watch the sprouting of arms on the heart of patience
Watch the cradle of my body against concrete
Feel the statues buckle
I miss the sound of echoes
See here, how we build a tolerance
I walk, not run, from the wreckage
How could I do anything without
I drag knees to sleep inside you
You won’t have to ask
I scrape my way to roll against you
How could I do anything but,
Lace my bones into your frame
How I learn to stay
I feel like I have a lot of announcements, recently :????
My 4th book is out now! You can buy the print version here - https://a.co/d/7imyFLL
the ebook will be available January 15th.
If you feel like you can commit to leaving me a review on Goodreads or Amazon then let me know, and I will send you a free PDF :)
Much love all! <3