SELF PORTRAIT @THE JACKSON HOLE AIRPORT

Kamden Ishmael Hilliard

Macin' my face in the             MEN'S         mite solv the problemof open access     Solution?: Doom Peace? Hate the wordI'll still do me         a nargl'd nubility 2 pour 4         or pliant narrative2 pull from ditchdom         I mean, basically what it boils down2: Eff I don't tell yu     I'm a fag, yu won't beat the crap out of meSo what want gud American         violence? Not *my* tax ductbutta dongle     Doohickey 4 glazed dysphoric diaspirations My griefis MSG free     It on the adollarable menu It is why i don't facepeelmessy but present 4 the tap dance Ground bone 4 my tonalconcerns     On brand Bandstand /in American         just 2 tip-tow a homo salaried petition thru the backgore           I'm pilling upmy say can & used against & court of aw I'm pulling out of my blooded self4 national cummembration Public partition of martyrdum: my genderfreakin See me absolve See me bubble See me sour of healingbut still 4 the dream: flite Fruitility Pozsibility

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Kamden Ishmael Hilliard earned a BA in American Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Kam helps with Jellyfish Magazine and Big Lucks while earning an MFA at The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Kam’s previous publications include two chapbooks of poetry: A Travel Poetic: distress tolerance and Perceived Distance From Impact.

In henceforce, Kamden Ishmael Hilliard’s poems take us on unimaginable voyages within and beyond the contours of our quotidian experience. This is not simply geographic travel, however: though Hilliard’s poems explore air travel, transcontinental locations, and even intergalactic scenes, their travel poetic asks us to move through and beyond deeply entrenched social boundaries. The movement depicted and encouraged here brings the reader into contact with figures that destabilize our notions of race, gender, and nation. Hilliard’s language, too, transgresses boundaries. For any reader who loves strange encounters with the familiar and the thrill of disorientation, these poems will prove challenging in a deeply exhilarating way, asking the reader to question the limits of their gaze, their language, their sense of place, and ultimately to reaffirm their personhood.

"Kamden Hilliard crafts an avant-garde 'travel poetics' that not only traverses airports and locales across the Pacific, Asia, and the United States, but also transgresses the normative and secured borders of nationalism, gender, aesthetics, and language itself. Throughout, we encounter multitudinous 'portraits' of radical, queer, black, and American selves in all their desire and pain, fear and freedom. In the end, we continuously arrive henceforce at the fluttering dream of 'flite Fruitility Pozsibility.'"
—Craig Santos Perez, author of from unincorporated territory [guma’]

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