Chicago performance poet C. Russell Price releases their first chapbook of poems through Sibling Rivalry Press: “Tonight, We Fuck the Trailer Park Out of Each Other.” Just like Price’s poems heard live, in print, they are fierce, beautiful, commanding. They vacillate between triumph and defeat, intimacy and rage, and they insist on remembering, relishing and reimagining details in visceral specificity in the face of tragedy and loss. I recently talked with Price in person and via email about their writing and new chapbook.
I can easily see people reading your chapbook as autobiographical. How do you feel about that?
Read into it however you want—I wish the sex had been that good and that seahorses actually fell from the sky. Fingers crossed for a righteous apocalypse. I did not come to play nice.
What were some of the sources of inspiration?
“Giovanni’s Room,” Plath’s journals, the music of Amy Winehouse and Fiona Apple, Edward Hopper, Frank O’Hara, Thomas James.
Can you give us a little insight on the postcard motif?
Say I write you something extremely personal (a postcard for example) and mail it—all these other hands suddenly gain access to it. It’s deeply confessional while still hyper aware of the voyeur.
As a recent transplant from Virginia to Chicago, elements of both places find their way into your work. How do you feel they set the stage for certain material you write about? What role do these different places play?
To be honest, I couldn’t really write about Virginia as well as I wanted to, until I was far enough away to process. Slowly the whole state transformed into a metaphor for sexual innocence or an innocent desire while still carrying some dark-as-fuck energy. It’s in my body and when Chicago brings out similar strong emotions I’m right back in the filthy, dirty south.
What function(s) does poetry serve for you?
Poetry, above all else, is a way for me to process my relation to others, the world, myself and our time in history. I want to say poetry can do more than just be an easier form of therapy and can really make some larger difference in the world—but let’s be real, I just want to connect to one person.
A book on a hyper queer look at the apocalypse, a flash creative nonfiction essay collection on the proto-punk aesthetics of the White Rose (an underground queer publishing activist group in response to Hitler), and a book of poetry based on true events about my hometown in Virginia in the sixties that centered around a twisted love triangle and the Vietnam War. Lighter material. (Amy Danzer)
“Tonight, We Fuck the Trailer Park Out of Each Other”
By C. Russell Price
Sibling Rivalry Press, 42 pages, $12