“I think I am ready for a rim job” (Vine 1)—the opening line slams into readers. Jade Vine (it/its) pulls no punches in Everybody’s Favorite Hoe & Then Some (Ginger Bug Press, 2023). On the surface, both the title of the collection and the introductory stanzas can be viewed as salacious and intentionally inappropriate. Western societal norms have historically framed sex, especially queer love and sensuality, as taboo, dirty, and heretical. Vine, a queer, transgender/agender anarchist, aims to disrupt the status quo and embrace love, sex, and fluidity through its writings.
Everybody’s Favorite Hoe & Then Some goes beyond presenting the notions of kinky intimacies. It examines the human condition in the way of comfortability and real, tangible tenderness. In the same opening poem, “hmu for anal play regular play plain old loving,” the speaker reflects on the pure love and happiness of their relationship. The relationship, the bond, is deeper than sexual pursuits. It’s about closeness and the expectation of simple intimacy between people in love.
Sex, in this context, is a vessel for love. No matter how sex-positive Generation Z presents itself, the undercurrents of judgment and shame still flow through our conversations. This generation is still petrified of thoughts of sex. We cower away from them until they nestle behind our ribcage as a festering hurt. The way sex is communicated in our lives leaves room for humiliation. But, as Vine asserts, there is nothing perverse about love, as long as it is expressed safely and consensually.
Vine isn’t afraid of rawness. Vine loves unabashedly and without shame. It writes with a cadence stemming from unfiltered consciousness. The traditional narrative structure is abandoned for an effusive way of expression. The collection is reminiscent of a FaceTime call with a close friend rather than a poet miles away from the audience. Reading this book means stepping inside of Vine’s mind and, instead of intruding, you are welcomed into its innermost thoughts.
Everybody’s Favorite Hoe & Then Some is not just a stream of randomized thoughts or the mechanisms of a sex-obsessed author. There’s relatability in its quick pace, which mimics racing thoughts and the gathering of sensibilities. The book conveys a passion that most people are afraid to articulate, yet exists inside of all of us: romantic, sexual, or, an artistic and fraying blend of both. Vine leaves the audience to decide.
In “everybody is my love interest and i’m interested,” the reader is forced into a sense of isolation. The speaker can only yearn from afar, yielding their emotions to another person across the room. They imagine an entire life together, carve out a space in the universe for them and this other person to exist freely and entirely. Vine writes:
“i let the oranges full with their disgusting pulp fall where they fall
i catch persimmons & ur glance in the break time
when you look away i admire ur shadow’s form so burly and so fragile
it could break if i stepped on it” (Vine 1-4).
It has become their thoughts. They’re reminded of their time of longing, of vying for the attention of someone so close they felt galaxies away. It’s lust. It’s love. It’s the freedom that comes with imagination. They live out their entire life with this person in a matter of seconds.
Moreover, Vine collects snippets of humanity in its poems. Love is all-consuming. It sears you from the inside out, leaving not even a husk behind. Vine encapsulates longing, loss, and a sense of desperation in its work. The overwhelming desire to belong to someone. As an equal. As a lover.
“oh god, i accidentally cut my pussy trying to shave it” introduces a new kind of melancholy. There’s solitude from inside the speaker’s body. Vine writes:
“my lashes don’t curl up the way my toes do
every boy i have brought home smelled like cigarettes & borrowed time
all my beautiful dresses are borrowed from my more beautiful mother” (Vine 7-9).
No doubt this is a genderqueer/trans allegory, which I acknowledge I am ill-equipped to effectively comment on. How they interact with the world and themselves is revealed through longer lines, replacing the rushing motions of their mind.
Everybody’s Favorite Hoe & Then Some follows a speaker through the dizzying tale of lust and love, and what it feels like to be completely entranced and bewitched. Vine’s poetry is brazen in its queerness and kinkiness. Love should not be hidden behind hushed whispers and critical glances. Queer love should be celebrated in the public eye.
K Slade (she/her) is a Black gothic and speculative fiction writer pursuing a BS in Digital Journalism and a Japanese minor at Appalachian State University. She currently serves as Visual Managing Editor for The Appalachian, her collegiate newspaper, and specializes in multimedia journalism. Horror media deeply inspired her love for the craft and in the future, K wants to write a script for a horror game. After undergrad, she hopes to move to New York and pursue an MFA in Creative Writing.
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