Top literature writing advices? Like similes, metaphors show the relationship or commonality between two objects or actions. Unlike similes, however, metaphors do not contain the words “like” or “as” in the comparison. In addition, metaphors describe the object or action in a non-literal way. In other words, metaphors equate two objects or actions just for the sake of comparing, even though the two things are not literally the same. Some examples of metaphors would be “The shark’s teeth were daggers ripping through flesh.” Or “Her hair was a winding path of intrigue.”
I’ve talked about different kinds of poem content. But what about form? For very experienced poets, formal aspects of poetry can become second nature, so that they sometimes know right away what form they want to use for a poem. This is probably not your situation. My suggestion is to focus first on your subject and get all your ideas down on paper. Then, once you’ve written down your ideas, start experimenting with the shape. You can read about poem structure here. Try organizing your poem in different ways and see what happens. Try shorter lines and longer ones; try breaking the lines in various places and observe the effects.
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.
The topic of our conversation is Rabbit White’s aesthetically and conceptually rich debut full-length collection of poetry, Porn Carnival. Rabbit White is a sex worker, and much of the poetry in this book is about her experiences in that line of work. Speaking with her is similar to the experience of reading her writing, which is heady, very coy, and curious. A poem like “Monologue Beyond Midnight,” which is a wry retort to an idea from Nietzche’s The Gay Science, is a cross section of Rabbit White’s humor, anger, and deep intuition of sound and texture. Rabbit White walked Vogue through her poems, her activism and advocacy, and the idea of inhabiting multiple personas for your art and your work. Discover 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. Still, she had a critic or two: people who thought the book and its promotion were at once decadent and thirsty, people who thought that things so decadently thirsty weren’t right for the culture of poesy, people who thought the hype was on account of the party, not on the merit of the art. Naturally, these were educated people. And they were entitled to their ideas, even if they were wrong.