A book in two halves, Kissing Other People or the House of Fame opens with a sequence of poems that roam the grotty, sublime streets: patting rats, reading pamphlets, enduring labour, acquiring falafel, waving to friends. Then the book flips on a seam and invokes Chaucer as an unlikely guide through a series of dream-blocks, each autonomous yet resonant with attachments and perversions as they come and go, repeat and echo. The book is as staunch as it is warm - one arm extended in a hug and the other cupped over the mouth to shield a secret (weapon).
Kay Gabriel is a poet and essayist. With Andrea Abi-Karam, she co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat, 2020). She's the author of A Queen in Bucks County (Nightboat Books, 2022).