“Kenji Liu’s Monsters I Have Been writhes knotty tentacles through textual boneyards, disturbing screenplays, theoretical works, and literatures in their coffined-off sleeps. What it draws back are parts through which the poet might, as Lucille Clifton wrote, make up 'a kind of life' in the global slaughterhouse of heteropatriarchy and racism. Sharp, protean, dexterous, and discontent—Liu’s collection shows where the bodies have been buried, and that many won’t stay dead. No doubt, this book is alive as all hell.” —Douglas Kearney “The monstrosity of the times speak to us through filmscripts, internet writings, faux-apologies, divinations, public utterances, and savage declarations that hit from all directions—letting us know that the patriarchal, capitalist, heteronormative inheritance of poetry no longer suffices to meet the demands of the day. Gone is the poet’s singular voice, the poetic transmission from muse or god or anguished affect. These frankenpos, as Kenji Liu calls them, arise from the thick and twitching mass of language constantly exploding between our ears—the overflow is rebellious, unapologetic, multilingual, and fierce.” —Sawako Nakayasu “In his book Monsters I Have Been, Kenji Liu offers the franken-po(em) as swarm, as a reterritorialization of the border, of the montage, of the assemblage, a series of sensuous, disorienting confrontations. Gravities, sinkholes, craters, and other forms of post-slippage encountergrass, tide, fish and other types of undulations. The symphonic, multilingual, multi-signage aspect of Monsters I Have Been allows for the question of what are you to be asked again and again, through different veils and performances of blur, innocence, and aggression. Read this spectacular, sexy book because it is a sublime, dusky love letter to our resurrections and our de/formations, ‘Deep earlight, you could be fuel for gender thievery.’” — ì? ì? ì? Sun Yung Shin, author most recently of Unbearable Splendor
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