Poem writing advices in 2021? Onomatopoeia is not an easy word to say or spell, but it is one of the most fun and common techniques used in poetry. Onomatopoeia is simply the use of a word that imitates a sound, like bam, crash, boom, splash. Words like these appeal to the reader’s senses and bring the reader into the poem.
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? Before, I was constantly running things through the lens of theory and philosophy, creating multiple dramatic voices in the text. I am still thinking about the phenomenology of romance, but the problem of romance is something that’s passed to you as a child, through the family, through the entire world around you. It’s something I’ve always known so intimately, so maybe that’s why in addressing it. There’s a softness, there’s lyricism. I was beating that out of the poems before.
How do you stay political in all the different things that you’re doing? Mine is a politics that comes from care, and mutual aid. I think the poems come back to that core. It’s not this idea of self-care, which I think can be very individualistic, and almost selfish. To me, care is community care. It’s keeping an extra space for friends who end up homeless or in between apartments, which often happens when people are criminalized. There’s ways to use your money to maintain spaces of care. Throwing parties to me is care. All these people come together at my parties, and everyone is intellectual and sexy and smart and [they] have all of these interesting things to say, and the girls end up doing a lot of care for each other when they’re coming down from working too much. A lot of what happens during the parties [that I throw] is people intellectualizing what is happening at work and what their burnout is doing to them and how the proximity to money and wealthy people is fucking with their brain. It’s almost therapeutic care that we do for each other. It’s also care to fuck people who aren’t clients and take back sexual energy. Read a lot more details on Poet Rachel Rabbit White.
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. I first got in touch with Rachel because I was working on a project for a magazine, and I needed contributors. I emailed her from the burner phone I’d bought at Wal-Mart the day after I got out. I told her about the project, said I liked her poems, her journalism. She didn’t act stuck up or anything. We talked about books and shit. It came naturally to us. 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.