Poetry, chapbook, 36 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
This collection of poems represents a beginning to an end. The author's personal expectations of xemself have often come from growing up in a culture that demands adoptees to be grateful and silent. Bastard of Fog is the author's artistic F-U to legalized human trafficking in the United States and through these poems the author refuses to share about xeir adoption in the expected sticky-sweet consumable way. These poems proudly pivot from the media's regurgitated savior narratives and address the conflicting, confusing, and ever changing role of chaos brought into adoptees' lives due to the inconsistent and despicable ways in which adoption functions in our country.
The poems flesh out an emotional insanity brought on by the lived experiences of being sold, bought, and renamed. Not only do the poems face the realities of adoption but they explore how gender and class weave in and out of adoptee narratives both through hope and pain. Through the author's personal struggles xe still make room to honor the nuances embodied by different folk throughout the adoption experience while remaining raw in xeir unearthing of abuse faced due to being adopted in the first place.
This is not a collection of poems that neatly folds into a proclamation of overcoming. Rather, it is an honest patchwork of the relationships and emotions that come together to build up the psyche of someone struggling with a constantly warping identity. Growing up in a world that favors blood borns, the author has had to painstakingly lift a fog off of xem to reveal that the systems of normativity that aim to erase xeir reality are active on all too many fronts. Adoption has a lot to do with power in terms of how people access the purchasing of babies and how those who consider themselves lucky to acquire babies then treat and care for said children. Through these poems the author forcibly takes back power by lifting the fog and revealing truths about what it means for xem to be adopted. Xe hope to inflict buyers remorse onto abusers who have taken human life for granted as part of xeir way to reclaim xeir history. These poems do not wholly dismantle the systems that inflict hurt but rather confront the aftermath of abuse experienced on personal and political levels.
Bastard of Fog is a plea to adoptees, to queer people, to the marginalized, to write down our histories. To let our suffering be seen. To feel honestly, and to heal in wiser ways than those who used money and violence in an attempt to heal through us. We can do better for ourselves and others. We can make it out of the fog.
Indigo Kinsella (xe/xem/xeir) is a Boston based poet, baker, and beach combing fanatic. Xe explore the incredulous nature of indoctrination through intersecting identities and can’t help but note that "there's a poem somewhere in what you just said!” Xe love public transit, tattoos, and making playlists emotively. You can find more of xeir work published in Decadent Cosmos zines and in the En*gendered Lit Mag archive. To stay in touch with xeir writerly updates you can find Indigo on IG: @uglyclogswrites