Four poems of a collection by Emma Sovich appear in our August issue. They’re a great read for these rainy fall days. Here she answers our questions about the collection and about bodies bothÂ stone and real.
1. Why would anyone want to ejaculate on a statue?
Better on the statue than on your fellow statue-observers, yes?Â
2. How would you rip yourself open?
Personally, I’d begin at my bellybutton.Â Maybe if I could invert it and get some kind of edge with my fingernails, I’d get good leverage.Â Most people are pretty sensitive there.Â It would be like ripping off a band-aid.Â But then it would be like peeling the sticker off the back of a book in flakes. Anyway, I’d start where it would hurt the most because I’m a coward and couldn’t do it otherwise.
3. Are these poems a part of a larger series? Why did you write them?
Yes, and the series includes other sculptures and demi-sculptures, male and female, but continues to gnaw at similar issues.Â When I first encountered the Anatomical Venus (and her sister sculptures) in Florence, she seemed so vulnerable, reclining but with her torso open, and the artist’s stunning attention to her beauty confounded me.Â She moved me.Â Each of the Venuses in these poems moved me to think about privacy, interiority, and how beautiful organs are.
4. What would you feed to a stray kitten?
In all honestly, I’d feed a stray kitten my cats’ cat food, or maybe a can of salmon. I probably wouldn’t really mix wax organs into the can of salmon, but that would be how to trick the kitten, if it were so hungry as to be undiscerning.
5. How would you get rid of the body?
Â I live in a cemetery. A cemetery can accommodate all kinds of bodies.
6. How different would these poems be if they focused on David?
Funny you should ask–David actually features in other poems in the larger series.Â He is the epitome of Classical male beauty, and is a bit full of himself.Â However, he’s solid marble, and though the Cnidos Venus is, too, these four poems are concerned with interiority in a way that is far messier than David might find comfortable.Â He did spend how many years wearing that stone fig leaf, right? Focused on David, these poems would probably draw attention to how disturbing it is that women of all ages come just to stare at his ass.