Pins & Needles No. 16: Emma Sovich

bad wolf
© A.T. Velazco

“Which path are you going to take,” asked the wolf,
“the path of needles or the path of pins?”

No. 16: Emma Sovich

You blog at http://www.graveyardhouse.com, so I have to ask…munchkins or witches: who’d make better bloggers?

Munchkins have more to say, while witches would be too busy and mindful of guarding trade secrets to blog much. Since blog post quality is often overlooked in favor of quantity of posts, munchkins would be the verbose bloggers that build wide followings. While I am not worried about secrets, I do blog rarely. Thank you for reminding me to write a new blog post.

You once said that to appropriate a fairy-tale character is to import an archetype. What’s easiest about this? Hardest?

To work off an archetype is to work off a template. Templates are easy enough to follow, yet difficult to know when and how far to break. Archetypes allow a writer to establish reader expectations almost immediately — then break them all the sooner.

“Puts her arms/ down his nose make him sneeze. A deterrent/ for a superstitious boy.” Do you think superstitions are on the decline or rise as we near the decade’s halfway point?

Superstitions are being sublimated. The Internet is so happy to both generate and expose misconceptions. And we take joy in countering superstitions or plumbing their psyches.

Except in sports. Sports will always have superstitions. My mother refuses to watch Steelers-Ravens games with her Ravens-loving neighbors, in case she jinxes her Steelers. My friend Barry Grass has an excellent piece in The Normal School on the subject of curses; I’ll have to check in where he stands on superstitions regarding his beloved Kansas City Royals now, who so recently just triumphantly made it to, and then barely lost, the World Series.

Interview conducted by Fairy Tale Review Poetry Editor Jon Riccio.


Emma Sovich’s poem “I Must Beg You to Restrain an Imagination Which, Having No Brains, You Have No Right to Exercise” appears in The Emerald Issue of Fairy Tale Review.

I Must Beg You to Restrain an Imagination Which,
Having No Brains, You Have No Right to Exercise

Within Tip a girl. Some days she feels old
and tall. Some days she climbs up to look out
Tip’s left pupil. He doesn’t notice if
left. Some days she scales slick ridges of his
brain and pokes advice to him. Problem is
Tip grew up lost doesn’t know Morse. Knows cows.
Sometimes she wonders why Tip. Why anything.
She codes his brain anyhow. Puts her arms
down his nose make him sneeze. A deterrent
for a superstitious boy. First long star
to reach that eyehole of his and she’ll be
gone up a ladder of light.