Manipulate Me, Babe—I Trust You, by Emily Perkovich (PRINT)
PRAISE FOR Manipulate Me, Babe—I Trust You
BY EMILY PERKOVICH
“There’s an old story about an abandoned castle. The roof is leaky. Wallpaper is peeling and the place is coming apart at the seams. Demon occupants are doomed to move furniture between the rooms. Manipulate Me, Babe—I Trust You, by Emily Perkovich, is an introduction to the intimate life of these demons. One of them. She knows she’s scarring the floor with heavy bureaus, so she overturns the drawers. A whole life spills out.
“This is what you happen to catch as you pause to help. Unsettling, voyeuristic, visual. Do we want the key to this pink diary?
—Dia VanGunten, Author of The Undeads (forthcoming, Querencia Press)
“In the same vein as all of her other books, Emily Perkovich continues to impact the reader with her visceral tongue and cutting images in Manipulate Me, Babe—I Trust You. However, this time, Perkovich grips her audience with even more force, thanks to the accompanying backdrop of graphics and the use of unique form on each page. This book is a must read, especially for those who grew up wearing studded belts and dark eyeliner.”
—Jessica Ballen, Author of Kosher
“Emily Perkovich’s Manipulate Me Babe, I Trust You is a brilliant collection of visual masterpiece and knife-edge poetry. Perkovich is a master at manipulating words and form to bend to her will—an eerie reflection of the manipulative relationship she explores in this collection and to the way she offers her body to abuse (literally) and to her poet’s mind (figuratively) to control and contort.
“Despite the seemingly erratic play with form (“it’s / al / ways / a / frenz / y”), Perkovich’s knife is not serrated—it’s newly sharpened and used with precision. She outdoes her signature play with experimental form in pieces like “If you put me in the desert, I’ll grow some needles, too. (after Nick Miller, New Girl)” and “The Storm is on the Inside.”
“If Perkovich is going to make you turn your book upside down to read half of a poem, you know she does it for a reason. In “The Storm is on the Inside,” “structure gives / way” both literally and in the world of the poem—in which a storm’s destruction of a house from the inside becomes a metaphor for the mental/physical body as well as the intertwined lives within a home. Never one to rely on her words alone to evoke a sense of disorder, chaos, or whatever discomfort or elation she wants you to feel, Perkovich forces you to read the poem six times with one rotation per read. With visceral diction and addictive rhythm, you do. You read the poem all six times, and you’re still knocked to your knees by the last read.
“Then there’s the way “How I’ll always wonder” swallows itself with its own words and reads like a choir made up of all of the poet’s spiraling thoughts and infernal aches.
“In Manipulate Me Babe, I Trust You, Perkovich continues to prove that poetry is a living, breathing thing that can cut, punch, burn, settle on your feverish forehead like a cold rag, or haunt your bones like a thousand unfriendly ghosts. Each poem in this collection goes beyond evocation. They will possess you.”
—Kait Quinn, Author of A Time for Winter & I Saw Myself Alive in a Coffin
Emily Perkovich is from the Chicago-land area. She is the Editor in Chief of Querencia Press, a poetry reader for Split Lip Mag, and on the Women in Leadership Advisory Board with Valparaiso University. Her work strives to erase the stigma surrounding trauma victims and their responses. She is the author of the poetry collections Godshots Wanted: Apply Within (Sunday Mornings at the River), The Number 12 Looks Just Like You (Finishing Line Press), and baby, sweetheart, honey (Alien Buddha Press) as well as the novella Swallow. You can find more of her work on IG @undermeyou
© 2023 Manipulate Me, Babe—I Trust You.
by Emily Perkovich and Gutslut Press.
First Edition: October 2023.
Published in the United States by Gutslut Press.
RELEASE DATE: October 1st, 2023