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Tag: Kenji C. Liu

Gyoshoku Danshi

魚 Here’s a fish with salt

食 on his shoulder

子 the ocean’s best

tasting son. His meat

a test of stamina

in a city ceramic.

Overshadowed

by glowing Fukushima

plumes. Waiting

for low tide with

a bloated moon

on his back.

I’ve been grilled

over my own

sadness.

I’ve been

my own patch

of drought grass

seams split by

someone else’s

heat.

The serrated edge

of patience

and my belly its

nest.

After this, I have no guts

to tie, no sausage joy.

I’ll drive your bus

into the barbeque

pit and burn clean

through the bones

your true-blue

dinosaur charcoal.

Wrap yourself in sugar

barnacles.

You’re encrusted with tacks.

With snacks.

I’m here to write

a different man.

Shouldn’t we taste like

warm, milky milk?

Drift into me

fish. I’m the sweetest

seaweed you’ll ever

lick. Your devoted

brackish coil of stars.

Your boss radio signal

aimed

galactic north.

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.

Now I Know What It’s Like

frankenpo

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

limits.

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

home.

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

hyper-genders,

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

mechanisms.

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.

Rajesh Goes to the Stud Club

after Qurbani (1980)

O, lonely heart

without love you will suffer

It’s a dark forest beneath

our open polyester shirts

In the meager air between us

chest hair weaves a bridge

O, may your heavy gold chains

hang low just for me

We’re two cocky

simple-celled organisms

Your chin wags lucky

You’re a gangster for me

You make my jiggly show

glow incandescent

Behind this extra sideburn

a burning pink rose

My tears in your ascot

now salty jewels, you slip away

After we dance, tell me

where you’ll bury your thieving fists

It will be great

Yes, yes life will be great

Someone like you

should come into my life

Before they lock you up

let’s rumble and roll around

Love, jump on my

magnificent haystack

Our Superman hearts

disco-ing out of control

I’ll wiggle my flower

so your eyebrow will rise

You could be smashing

my Mercedes

with your mustache

You could be proposing

to my biceps in a canary

rubber dinghy

It will be great

Yes, yes life will be great

After we dance, caress me

with your nightstick

Flip me, toss me

Smother me with bell-bottoms

I can’t quit the way you

defenestrate my affection

Love, keep direct eye contact

with my smirky turtleneck

I’m not an angel

just a half-smoked cigarette

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.

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.