Kenji Liu Is Using Frankenstein As A Metaphor For Toxic Masculinity
by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo
FROM: Bitch Media
Kenji Liu and I enter a tea shop on Las Tunas Drive in an area that feels like the epicenter of the boba tea shop movement in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley. K-pop plays over the speakers while a worker noisily fixes a hole in the ceiling, and Liu and I have to raise our voices in order to discuss Monsters I Have Been, his new collection of sci-fi–inspired poems that uses the figure of Frankenstein’s monster as a way to reflect on toxic masculinity. But though our location isn’t an ideal place to record an interview, after immersing myself in Monsters’ mix of languages, pop-culture references, and chopped-up texts, I wanted to meet in a location that has a similarly busy vibrance.