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Now I Know What It’s Like


I knew now that I had to make another monster.

—Dr. Frankenstein

His interminable body harbored

hidden men—

bomb gallantries,

warfare cognates.

The crucial interior, numbed

to turn the curse of affect,

thought modification

with unending character


A vessel of spinning,

obliquely propelled man fears,

and want-passengers,

sad monsters of all broke states.

His compulsive

nation of narcissistic guns,

grief men, shooting


Wars of syndicated motion threading across

a slowly enormous realm.

That night, I ran everyone wrong.

I told the monster that I would make

a wife for him.

Even with centuries of variant


a hundred gender chances,

I dreamed too ugly.

My man components loyal

to a freaked system of father loops.

Body threw all.

The lust economy

carcassing mercilessly.

This need for


For national monster workshops

that shake graves.

When I made the first creature,

I didn’t know how it would turn out.

A knowledge machine of silent

man children.

The dead gazing back,

and I, their creature.

from Monsters I Have BeenFind more by Kenji C. Liu at the library

Copyright © 2019 Kenji C. Liu
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Kenji C. Liu Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.