The People's Elbow by Rax King
Thirty stomach scraping recitatives on rape and wrestling, The People's Elbow is what it is to try to process trauma in the twenty-first century. It is slamming the head into the mat repeatedly only to realize the match is rigged for the heel. It is the comfort and confusion of fantasy as a coping mechanism. It is the ways we heal and ways we don't. Now with art from Zach Hobbs and foreword from Lisa Carver.
Rax King is a James Beard Media Award-nominated bitch. Her work can also be found in Glamour, Catapult, and Electric Literature. Look out for her monthly Catapult column Store-Bought is Fine for hot takes about the Food Network.
"The People’s Elbow is one of The Rock’s best-known signature moves. It is simple the way wrestling is simple. It is a classic elbow drop, in which wrestler A plunges his body backwards and downwards like he’s taking a fall and drives his elbow into wrestler B’s limp body on the way down. The People’s Elbow is beauty the way wrestling is beauty: clean and gratifying, a winner, a loser.
In a rape, too, is immediacy and visibility. Clean strokes and gratification. A winner, a loser, every time. Every single time."