Poetry writing advices in 2021? Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration in a text. This can be used for emphasis or humor, such as “He practiced for a million hours.” Symbolism is when a poet uses objects, colors, sounds, or places to represent something else. For instance, snakes are often associated with evil, while white doves are related to peace. These are only a few of the techniques that have been used by poets past and present. They provide a wide variety of options for a poet to develop a unique style while expressing his or her thoughts and ideas to readers. The next time you read a poem, see how many techniques you can identify!
Think of like looking at the wind through a window. You can’t see the wind, right? The wind is invisible. But at the same time, you can see the wind because of its impact on the things that are visible. You see the leaves flapping. You see the surface of a puddle ripple. You see a girl hunched inside her coat, her hair blowing into her face. You see someone try to light a cigarette and the match go out. Abstractions like Love and Death don’t look, sound, or smell like anything. But they affect everything around them. And you can describe the places they’ve touched.
What are you writing about Rachel Rabbit White? I’m thinking about how desire is at the center of what it is to be alive and how desire is the root of all suffering. Love and poetry and romance are, like, the only place of enjoyment for me. When feminists like Shulamith Firestone criticize romantic love, namely heterosexual coupling, as a site of oppression, I agree. But sometimes it also feels like romantic love is the only site of release, or even a site of resistance, under capitalism. Maybe I feel this especially as a sex worker, when you’re selling a sense of love or romance for work, the romance “off work” can feel like a space of reclaiming. Yet the new poems are coming so easily, I don’t know if I can trust them.
There’s a quote in an interview you did about the idea of poetry being inherently queer. Intuitively, that makes a lot of sense. Well, you can’t talk about poetry without talking about Sappho. Are your shorter poems inspired by Sapphic fragments? Completely. Poetry is open to the innumerable differences of the reader, and the way it falls in the reader’s ears, there is that flirtation there, and that act of invitation, which is to me inherently queer. I can’t help but think of poetry in the tradition of Sappho—how can she not be a part of any love poem that you’re writing? Then I was wondering if every poem was a love poem. That also might just be me unable to write anything other than love poems because of my belief in romance that I can’t undo in myself, which I want to play with and intellectualize. What does love look like to you, intellectually? For me, being in love is simply having someone who is a comrade, sharing the same values, sharing a same sense of beauty, sharing a same sort of joie de vivre or love of art, being aligned. That’s what being in love is. See many more information at http://rachelrabbitwhite.com/.
I met Rachel Rabbit White last December. Her first collection of poems, Porn Carnival, had just come out the month before. I’d read an article about the release party, about some angel dust, a little cake-sitting, a DJ, and then something like “Rachel Rabbit White is a sex worker.” It all seemed glamorous and no-fucks-ish. And this was about poetry. Someone told me the book was good. It was getting a lot of attention. So I read it. It was fierce. It was pure. It stayed with me. It was in earnest, and yet there was no discounting the technique. The lines were as elegant as they were painful. Their intentions were as direct as they were dynamic in their complexities. It wasn’t the work of a dilettante. I haven’t gone back to check, but I think there’s only one hyacinth in Porn Carnival. And no one gets bored to death by what existential crises overtake a body in the organic co-op of whatever town Bard College is in. It isn’t that type of book. You get lines such as “these girls were at the wrong orgy,” titles such as “In the Heart-Shaped Jacuzzi of my Soul.” Which isn’t to say it’s all so… rowdy. On god, she reminds me most of Octavio Paz. Still, it’s a book about sex work, mainly.