Elizabeth Hazen's Poem "Scene from a Horror Movie" Published by the Coachella Review
Hazen's new poem ponders the complicated relationship between sex and horror.
with leather gloves
reflected in a knife.
Her legs are long and slender;
each frame shortens
her nightie. Tension mounts;
the killer strikes, and she grasps
at nothing, her face
warping like a rubber mask;
her body shudders..."
Elizabeth Hazen has been on a publishing tear as of late. The American Literary Review recently published her poem, "The Bereaved;" Shenandoah published her wonderful and heartbreaking "Monarch;" The Coachella Review has just published their second poem of hers, and, in May, she was named as a finalist for the Baker Artist Award.
This new poem of hers— which you can read in full HERE— highlights her distinctive take on sex and power through vivid poetic imagery. Hazen uses a scene from director Dario Argenta's Suspiria as a model.
Read more about her inspiration for "Scene from a Horror Movie" below:
"'Scene from a Horror Movie' is a poem I initially drafted many years ago when I was a graduate student. I was working on a series of poems based on horror movies, and I wanted to capture the visual drama and tension of Dario Argento’s amazing 1977 thriller, Suspiria. The film is a masterpiece of saturated reds and purples and blues, of shadowy passageways, and of course young women in danger. I was a fan of horror movies long before I became conscious of the connection between sexuality and violence that is so often portrayed in these films. The scene I had in mind as I wrote the poem involves a young woman - a dancer at the elite ballet school where the movie takes place — fleeing an unknown killer through eerily red-lit corridors until she comes to an interior window that opens to a room filled with coils of barbed wire. What struck me most about this scene was how gorgeous it was — the colors, the cinematography, the woman herself — and how this beauty contrasted so dramatically with the violence being portrayed."
More from Elizabeth Hazen
Baltimore poet, Elizabeth Hazen’s first collection of poems is entitled Chaos Theories. Last week the young poet was announced as a finalists for the prestigious Baker Artist Award in literature. We sat down to talk with her about her experience in Baltimore as an artist and what programs like The Baker Awards mean to artists.
Fully embracing what the lyric mode does best, Hazen provides the readers with brief, intense poems that preserve a suspended moment in time, attempting to record the thought processes and emotions of the speaker much like tree rings reveal drought, heat, and age. With astonishing clarity and concision, Hazen explores the mysteries of our realities—which are ultimately beholden to entropy.
This is no modern tradition, says Elizabeth Hazen. It is not only now that humans ornament their dead with flowers. “See,” she says in her rumination on tradition and humanity, Burial at Shanidar, “Even from a distance we dream of gardens where there should be stone.” And on Christmas especially, it is so wonderful to curl up with a book of poetry, even to read out-loud to one’s family, and bask in the ways we make words, just like the long winter days of dark, meaningful with light and tradition.