Monday, September 29, 2008

Interview with the Poet Laureate: Kay Risqué


It’s hard not
to skulk around
just kinda
waiting to be
snarked. It’s
hard to be
alone so long
and then hear
someone snark
you bad. It
makes you
wanna snark
first and ask
later, rather
than just
being crummy

In her poems Risqué enjoys examining the snarkery of everyday life—with its secret snarky subtexts and those strange snarky things that go bump in the night. It’s a common human experience—to be savagely and cruelly snarked in the crummy workplace, in the haughty halls of Congress, in the humid putrid gutters and back alleys of the Beltway.

“Honey, it ain’t easy being Poet Laureate these days,” said Risqué recently at the Pink Flamingo—a dark little getaway nightclub bunker a mile beneath the Library of Congress. Unlike many poets writing today, Risqué seldom writes in the first person. She has said, "I don’t use ‘I’ because the personal is too snarky and sticky for me to work with. I like the cooling properties of a Taser gun."

In her poem "Taser Gun Love" for instance, Risqué describes the feelings of a Southern senator who was so jaded and decadent that he eventually succumbed to Taser gun love— rather than the usual boring ho-hum dildo love of the past.

“Shocking isn’t it,” she said.

Risqué describes poetry as an intensely electrical experience for both the writer and the reader: "Poems are like sticking your tongue in a light socket," she said. “The voltage moves from the poet directly into the reader.”

“There’s a ZAP of energy—the most personal sort of energy. That doesn’t mean that you read a poem to get electrocuted. Rather it’s a different kind of energy—compared with a Joe Six-Pack couch-potato buzz.”

Hyrum Van Glitterfuck, president of The Poetry Foundation, said: "Halfway into a Risqué poem, one is ready for either getting snarked or rolled; typically it ends in both. Before we know it the poem robs and rolls you, and any typical deep insight that you might have been hoping for ends with the audience of the reading running for the nearest exit."

Risqué has written six books of poetry, plus a Hollywood filmscript and some TV ads. Her books are: "Dyke Acts, Dyke Deeds” (1983), "Strangely Tainted Meat" (1985), "Flamingo Cruising" (1994), "Snarky Believe It or Not!" (Grove Press, 1996), "Come Back Bette Davis" (Grove Press, 2000), and "Barracuda" (Grove Press, 2008).

No comments:

Post a Comment

So snark me!