Read "Sweat Bee" from Emilia Phillips' HEMLOCK

some days I’m better for my anger more prepared for my pain
for my pain more prepared for instance I knew the storm was coming
yesterday for the way the screws tightened in my heel their heads
just visible under my skin

Read "Sweat Bee," a poem from Emilia Phillips' Hemlock, in the Diode Poetry Journal 11.1 and check out the latest review of the chapbook in The Adroit Journal by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett: WE DON’T CALL AN EYE A WOUND: A REVIEW OF EMILIA PHILLIPS’S ‘HEMLOCK’


Emilia Phillips’s most recent chapbook, Hemlock (Diode Editions), does something that many books of poetry aim for, though few achieve—it serves as a document of a closely observed and deeply felt life. In verse so artful that it seems effortless, Phillips gives us access to a curious, dreamy intellect and a poetic eye as compassionate as it is exacting, and we are enriched by having seen through it.

Hemlock, a chapbook chronicling a lonely summer lost to the brain’s raucous shouting, swings wildly between anxiety and joy, juggling questions and proclamations alike about god, the body, and gender-unrestrictive desire. Self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating all at once, the speaker here declares that “Yes, I belong to my excesses” but that the “body is // a mixed metaphor,” one that expands and contracts with one’s mental state, connecting to the world and retreating from it.

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