Meteorites :: S. Brook Corfman


It is as if a meteor is imminent. It is as if to walk out of a house in a pair of heels would make me someone's hero and also get me killed. It is as if this is not statistically unlikely, for me. It is as if, what was the word the therapist used, my sense of self was annihilated as a child. It is as if I do not hold tension, but work very hard to be tired or tense from other activities. It is as if I ever captured a spider instead of killing it. Sometimes the window slips down. It has nothing to do with circadian rhythm. It is as if I stay up all night because I can pretend no one will call upon me. Sometimes, I feel betrayed by the early morning birds, whatever kind live in Western Pennsylvania. I want everything to be asleep and to leave me alone, to stop talking to each other in ways I could not understand, and then I took to myself with such precise penance.


A meteorite is a solid piece of debris that has survived its travel through both outer space and the Earth's atmosphere, remaining at least partially intact after impact with the Earth's surface. Like such a remnant, these poems are the sleight of hand outcome of a compressed thought process, an associative, forward moving bodily output. With such a remnant, S. Brook Corfman hopes the poems can tie the daily to experiences that don't seem daily, yet seem to be off in the future: non-binary gender to unpredictable violence, daily life to impending or already-here ecological disaster. 


If “the meteor is a woman of varying biologies,” as S. Brook Corfman argues, then these meteorites are gender debris: rocky, pretty, lovingly collected fragments that have survived the travel from her biologies to yours. Intergenre and intergender, these queer sentences build verse paragraphs in which to experience the experience of dysphoria not as a psychiatric diagnosis but as a kind of architecture: “a tiny living space for a large imagination,” “a mysterious underneath spatially organized.” Inviting us into these inhabitations, this generous, remarkable chapbook might “hold the dysphoria in a clean line,” but it refuses to reconcile multiplicity and variance with normativity. “There’s a body and a body and a body and a feeling,” Corfman reports, “and they're all different from each other.” So take note, dear reader: a century after Tender Buttons, the difference is still spreading. 

—Brian Teare


S. Brook Corfman is also the author of Luxury, Blue Lace, chosen by Richard Siken for the Autumn House Rising Writer Prize (forthcoming November 2018).  The recipient of fellowships from Lambda Literary, the Vermont Studio Center, and the University of Pittsburgh, recent work has appeared (or will appear soon) in DIAGRAMIndiana ReviewMuzzleTerritoryand Quarterly West (Best of the Net Nomination)among other places. Born and raised in Chicago, the life now plays out from a turret in Pittsburgh.