Escaping the Body
by Chloe N. Clark
Chloe N. Clark’s poetry collection takes readers through a catalogue of the speculative body. Escaping the Body is a surreal and profound journey through space, forests, monsters, myths, spells, magic tricks, forests, and the body. Escaping the Body is a collection of dreams of the flesh, exploring the cosmic rifts between the soul and the body, encouraging readers to escape their body in search of the liminal space beyond skin and bones.
About the Author
Chloe N. Clark is the author of Collective Gravities, Under My Tongue, Your Strange Fortune, and The Science of Unvanishing Objects. Her forthcoming books include Every Song a Vengeance and My Prayer is a Dagger, Yours is the Moon. She is a founding co-EIC of literary journal Cotton Xenomorph. Her favorite basketball player will always be Rasheed Wallace and her favorite escape artist can only be Houdini.
Praise for Escaping the Body
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"I think the greatest joy in putting it together was the chance to bring in all my magicians and escape artists. For going on two decades, I’ve been off and on writing a novel about stage magicians. It’s one of those projects that will never see the light of day and is worked on entirely for myself, so it was nice to be able to put some of that in these poems that I was planning to publish. Spread the magician joy a little." – Chloe N. Clark, interview with Longleaf Review
"Escaping the Body is a phenomenal book of poetry. While not every poem in the collection is a horror poem in the truest sense, the overall collection is a dark vision which haunts the reader well after the covers have closed. Chloe N. Clark is able to take things that seem innocent and twist them into fantastic torments for her readers. Anyone who is a fan of horror poetry or poetry in general will count themselves lucky to have partaken of this tome." – Joshua Gage, Cemetery Dance
"One of the main themes that I was tackling this book was the idea of bodies (in an expansive sense: so human bodies but also cultural bodies, bodies of text, etc.) and how often we can feel confined by them. In addition, I also wanted to explore escape. I have been a long-time fan (read: huge nerd) of stage magic and escape artistry. So a constant presence in these poems is Houdini. My favorite escape artist and I think, personally, this really fascinating person who constructed so much around dis/belief — the audience doesn’t believe he can escape from his tricks, but still roots for him." – Interview with Paul Semel
"Chloe N. Clark deftly evolves and interrogates what it means to be a body moving through the mysterious expanse of space, getting lost in dark forests of emptiness but finding comfort in the stars, in the earth, in networks of roots. A Daphne figure, fleeing men, is turned into a tree, and the question is posed: 'Would you beg the gods / for some other kind of saving?' In this world, myths, spells, magic tricks, dreams, space travel, and forests constellate a rumination on how to transcend the threats and limitations of flesh and bone—as she writes, 'I wanted to be Houdini, be someone who escaped death over and over.' Clark conjures the cosmic rifts between us, grasping the loneliness and the inevitable losses of life, but her poems pivot on the hope of transformation: space can be an emptiness that 'holds you. Trees push 'through our bones and carry them skyward. A tree may die, but 'still cuttings from it / could be regrown, rerooted.' We may seek an escape from the body, but in these poems, we are reminded that sometimes 'the body can be a key.' In Escaping the Body, Clark beautifully binds hope to fear, shining light on the dark tableau of our present moment." – Maegan Poland, author of What Makes You Think You’re Awake?
"Chloe Clark can write anything and I submit as proof this collection of poetry. Part haunted mansion, part house of mirrors, part rocket ship, and always aching and honest, Escaping the Body plumbs the depths of what it is a poem can do and emerges with untold treasures. Who else could write a confessional poem turning PC error codes into ekphrastic vignettes? Or wreck us softly with the image of a sleepwalking lover weeping? Or make a love poem out of two people turning into sharks? This is a book of magic – of blood and cauldron and spell and tree, but also of straitjacket and lock to pick and risk of drowning, with Clark acting as both enchantress and Houdini." – Todd Dillard, author of The Ways We Vanish