Poetry writing tips in 2021? Rhyming is the most obvious poetic technique used. It helps to make poems flow. Poems do not have to rhyme, however; there are many poems that are free verse—a style that allows poets the flexibility to write their thoughts and ideas without the constraint of following a particular rhyming pattern. There are several different rhyming patterns and schemes. Which one a poet uses will depend on the topic, style, and theme of the poem.
The best form for your poem will depend on what it’s about and the mood and feelings you want to create in the reader. The length of the line can make the reader go faster or slower, change the look of the poem on the page, focus attention on certain words. You may decide to incorporate other structural elements such as a certain number of syllables per line, a regular meter, or a rhyme scheme. All of this should work with, and contribute to, the poem’s meaning.
What are you writing about Rachel Rabbit White? I’m writing more traditional poems, love poems. Lyrical poems. The first ten are being published as a four-week series for the literary magazine Triangle House, as a weekly installment called “Work For Love.” The artist Casey Kauffmann is doing original art for it. The poems shift constantly between the specter of being “in love,” this beautiful human phenomenon, and questioning romantic love as a site of social complicity that’s deeply socially ingrained and fucked.
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. See extra details 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. I had just gotten out of prison. I was in a halfway house. Weekdays, I went to work at an office. It was a bullshit job. I was making $8/hr, paying 25 percent of the gross of my paychecks back to the halfway house for “subsistence.” I had published a novel the previous year. It was a good thing I had, or I’d have been broke. 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.