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Killing It

Killing It

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By: Gaia Rajan


Poet Gaia Rajan's second short collection is a razor-sharp interrogation of queer Asian American identity, intergenerational trauma, and the detritus of American achievement. Here, lineage is at once redemptive and violent: "Sometimes / when people say I'm killing it I remember everything / exemplary I know or ever will traces back to a small girl / on the floor praying please, please, make them see me."

In this steely gut-punch of a collection, Rajan's speakers don't flinch, even when confronted with their own dissolution. They haunt ghost towns and cheer on bank robbers; they wake in the middle of the night with visceral dreams of a centuries-old genocide, trying to remember "how to coax a howl to eat;" they grasp for myths sturdy enough to hold, emerging empty-handed and furious. Killing It is vibrant, disquieting, a collection that demands to be read with reverence and abandon.

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