Rax King is a dog-loving, hedgehog-mothering, beer-swilling, gay and disabled sumbitch who occasionally writes and works as assistant editor for Sundress Publications. She is the author of the collection ‘The People’s Elbow: Thirty Recitatives on Rape and Wrestling’ (Ursus Americanus, 2018). Her work can also be found in Barrelhouse, Peach Mag, and Glass Poetry.
Here’s Quick Temper with Rax King:
Why do you write?
Because the only other thing i can do even remotely as well as I write is cooking lol. however i eat all my cooking projects and my writing is generally inedible so the evidence is a lil mismatched. plus anytime i go too long without writing, the curb your enthusiasm theme music plays loudly in my head as i bumble around fucking up and feeling miserable, so here the fuck we are, huh
Who do you hope reads your work?
girls who are in pain / boys who know how to goddamn behave themselves
Where does the anger in your work come from? How does it manifest?
as a lil tyke i used to behave like such a fuck every time i lost a board game or wasn’t allowed to stop by mcdonalds on the way home that my astrologer bubbe used to singsong ‘aries moon, aries moon’ at me (im an aries moon and a cunt lol). i think it’s safe to say that i’ve always been p angry and that it comes from nowhere in particular except, maybe, the stars
however, a lot of really bad shit has happened to me, so maybe that’s why i’m angry. idk it’s like schroedinger’s rage up in here. do not ask me to explain that joke, i told it explicitly to make myself sound smart. anyway it would be such a waste of my mean bitch eyebrows if i were some sweet, docile person
that said, i am pretty gentle with the people of the world. i no longer have to spend an hour psyching myself up before making any phone call whatsoever but those days are not so far behind me either. but my writing is angry and my live delivery of my writing is, like, comically angry — people I’ve known for years have seen me read and been like ‘i didn’t think you had it in you’ and im like tight, thanks, i hope i’m not totally mousy. but as a rule, my feelings stay bottled up right under my sternum, where feelings belong. no i am not catholic
if i may self-promo just a bit, you can read more of me being angry, sad, and other multifarious bummed-out ways in my book, The People’s Elbow: Thirty Recitatives on Rape and Wrestling (Ursus Americanus, 2018), which is coming up on its one year birthday. im so proud of my baby girl
Angry book recommendations for angry readers?
oh hell yeah i love providing book recommendations because it makes me seem so smart and as if i know how to read, which i don’t. ok so Sung Yim wrote a hell of a memoir that i’ve revisited several times — What About the Rest of Your Life. i just read Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream in one sitting on the bus to work, and then a second time on the bus home — gorgeous and upsetting. i think maybe Lisa Carver would not want me to call her my mentor but i’m gonna do it regardless, and i can’t recommend any of my mentor’s books highly enough. they are maybe not so angry though, with the semi-exception of Drugs Are Nice. good palate cleansers for when you don’t want to be as angry anymore. and Morgan Parker’s Magical Negro is one of the most exquisite books of poetry that i ever read, for any mood at all.