Paul Cunningham made this beautiful trailer for my new book, I Eat Cannibals, which will out next month from co.im.press. This trailer references several things from the title poem, including the song after which the book is named, Joanna Newsom's "Swansea," the film Badlands, Rachel Feinstein's sculptures, and the spooky guide of the book, the cassowary. Additionally, Arielle Greenberg said some nice things about the book:
“In I Eat Cannibals, the spacey-smart, anxious-bold, seriously funny speaker plays every possible role—zoo animal, redhead, pioneer, corset, priest—opposite women who are crushes, heroines and BFFs. The poems channel like mediums at seances, and they time-travel (though admittedly mostly just to shop), drawing Dickinson and Sharon Tate into a contemporary world of “spiritually iridescent horror” where the dominant mode of being is Complicit. “For what I’ve done / I’m sorry,” Abelkop writes, “I do it / every day.” Readers of this work are glad she does.”
i'm working at a sluggish snail's pace on several things: a sci-fi(ish) novel about two best friends who move to the planet venus along with a few other planet earth ex-pats (part of which will come out as a chapbook soon-ish), a series of poems responding to/"translating" the sculptures of rachel feinstein, and a non-fiction/essay situation that is really barely even a zygote at this point. my interests as a writer right now are very focused on what it means to be human in the present day, how we cope with constant tragedy and fear while also finding moments of joy and ridiculous wonder. heavily inspiring my aesthetic sense of these worlds i'm attempting to create: the flintstones, pee wee herman and his playhouse, rococo architecture, natural bodies of water (rivers, oceans), dev hynes/blood orange's records, james baldwin's essays, charli xcx's wild, aggressive, and joyful onstage presence, opulent desserts, the film under the skin, deee-lite, flowers, and sam cooke's voice/song writing/phrasings.
2. How does your work differ from others’ in the same genre?
i have discussed this with a couple other people, in regards to both their work and mine, and i don't think my poetry fits into any recognizable sub-category out there right now, though it might contain particles of many. my style has shifted continuously as i get bored & want to create something tonally different, something potently "new" (for me). i'm not always successful and it feels really hard to judge one's own work when you feel a bit like you don't quite recognize it as "yours" yet- like an outfit that doesn't fit quite right yet, or you haven't figured out which shoes go with it. my eyes and ears are not so great right now in regards to my own work: sometimes i think it is too much of the same, sometimes it seems cobbled together like a frankenstein. it is certainly different in that the references i make, the constellation of people, art, and experiences, are specific to my day-to-day life. AKA find the hidden tori amos references where you may.
3. Why do you write what you do?
because i want to, because i am compelled to, because i have an idea or a feeling that i want to find a form for outside of my head. because i want to send a tether out into the world for myself and others. because i like to, and sometimes even love to. because what else would/could i possibly do.
4. how does your writing process work?
i live my life, thinking, reading, listening to music, watching movies and tv, talking to friends, hugging my dog, swimming, bathing, crying, dreaming, eating, napping, going to museums, reading tabloids, watering plants, driving, working, loving, being crabby. in between these things i am sometimes moved, either by a phrase that runs through my head or an urgent need to organize thoughts/feelings or another piece of art, to sit down and type it out. i'll come back to it a few days later or weeks later or even months later and edit it until it becomes something that feels finished, or sometimes that doesn't work out and then the snippet just languishes on my computer, forgotten in the "documents" folder. i am not good at writing on a schedule or with any kind of regularity. thus far that has worked out just fine, although i often feel like i'm not doing enough, am not writing like a "real" writer. i am trying to figure out how to write a novel and it is becoming obvious that my tactic for writing poems (outlined above) is not quite going to cut it if i want to finish this novel in my lifetime. we'll see.