Review: Godshots Wanted

Emily Perkovich writes from places many of us shroud in metaphors and her poetic voice drips with experience. Quite often, her work moves beyond the visceral; it is more than raw truth and honesty, Godshots Wanted is lived experience transformed expertly for the page.

"I was barefoot in the hallway"

From the first two pieces onwards, you are a witness. Perkovich's poetry and prose reanimate the past — not to re-traumatise but to recognise the fickle yet unshakeable nature of trauma: the hold it keeps, even in recovery.

The title permeates the collection; godshots are exactly what Perkovich is looking for — godshots are what so many of us crave. But, Perkovich's documentation, within this collection, of assault, abuse, addiction and illness is a stark reminder that the things which happen to us and around us, never leave. We just try to change.

"I know this from every angle. It catches light there, hides it here.
I am these shadows."

Perkovich's style is the stigma challenging work we need, because there is little justice to be found in survival; there is little peace, even in the catharsis of writing and/or reading a collection like Godshots Wanted. Perkovich gives voice to pain, to ache, to darkness, to ideation, and to fear. There is no romanticisation of the hope one will eventually find. It is truth and it is a recovery unfinished. It is a gripping, graphic and moving read. It is broken glass refracting sunlight across a cluttered room.

Godshots Wanted is a feat of brilliance. For the way Perkovich's talent resounds off every page in her structural choices, in the echoes of Gothic literature, in the streams of consciousness, and in the superb paralleling of Macbeth's 'Tomorrow' speech. And for the way it is a collection which will reassure anyone still reliving trauma that they are seen and they are heard.

Perkovich is the voice too many would label as unlikely, when in fact, she is the writer and artist we truly need. Godshots Wanted is unafraid even when fear, blood and trauma, settled within the speaker long ago.

"And what I mean to say is that not everyone has wounds that are easily healed, and I need you to be OK if sometimes I bleed on the carpet."

Godshots Wanted is the honesty we deserve, showcasing the phenomenal talent of Emily Perkovich, and I implore you to read it and experience it, while heeding Perkovich's opening foreword and trigger warning.