Today's poem is "Fort Not"
from Fort Not

The Song Cave

Emily Skillings is the author of two chapbooks: Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press). She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective, small press, and event series.

Books by Emily Skillings:

Other poems on the web by Emily Skillings:
Two poems
Two poems
"Poem with Orpheus"
Two poems
"Matron of No"
"Parts of a World"

Emily Skillings's Website.

Emily Skillings on Twitter.

About Fort Not:

"Although her language sometimes suggests she is from another planet, Emily Skillings knows how history happens on ours: 'There was a history there of men overtaking and rebuilding and casting to ruin, then drawing up new plans, beginning anew, hesitating, revising only to tear down and build again, and always slightly off-center.' This is about as normal as things get in this staggeringly beautiful, wildly off-kilter account of daily life, or in Auden's words, 'A way of happening, a mouth.' Whatever. Fort Not is a savagely brilliant debut."
—John Ashbery

"Emily Skillings' beauteous first book is an instruction manual on how to live your life. What is a book when it's a blush? A dropdown etiquette c/o flowers and a way to teach yourself: how to backchannel your garden, how to be a matron of no, how to wipe your dirt on other people, how to talk nice to the Holland Tunnel, how to shake in Carpet Town, how to make your sinuses more operatic, how to surrender a glacier. With each lesson, Fort Not brushes back our inhibitions and dismantles our intentions."
—Tan Lin

"Emily Skillings throws you a lot of curves and I like that. Her poems are actually pretty dense and then suddenly she shifts (knowingly) into a radiant simplicity. I love her trembling, and though she asks 'is trembling/always bad?' it's clear she knows it's not. Emily's just trying to make us watch better. I love this poet's compulsive sense of risk, her sense of humor. I love her dread. I love her love of detail. Her revulsion. So finally, basing this opinion on my exploration of this one writer, I'll say that bitches are smart. Emily Skillings is very special. I'll keep reading her."
—Eileen Myles

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