BC Poetry 2017: "a place called No Homeland" by Kai Cheng Thom (Arsenal Pulp Press)

someday they’ll cut this body open
and discover that my flesh is made of sky:
azure, sapphire, cerulean, turquoise, ultramarine
cirrus and cumulus clouds stirring behind my eyes
cumulonimubus, alight with lightning,
crackling through the capillaries of the heart.
i am oh so full of rain
you could fall through me into forever. 
dear scientist, mortuary explorer, search me thoroughly
tenderly catalogue all my wayward parts.
find somewhere in me
the forgotten moon, the faded stars.
re-member, reassemble, this tattered heaven, this
celestial thing.


Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performance artist, and psychotherapist in Toronto. Her novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir was released by Metonymy Press in 2016 and her picture book for children From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea (illustrated by Kai Yun Ching and Wai-Yant Li) will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in Fall 2017.


In these fierce yet tender narrative poems, Kai Cheng Thom draws equally from memory and mythology to create new maps of gender, race, sexuality, and violence. In the world of a place called No Homeland, the bodies of the marginalized—queer and transgender communities, survivors of abuse and assault, and children of diaspora—are celebrated, survival songs are sung, and the ancestors offer you forgiveness for not remembering their names.

Descended from the traditions of oral storytelling, spoken word, and queer punk poetry, Kai Cheng Thom’s debut collection is evocative and unforgettable.


Arrives May 2017


Book Launches: Sounds Like Fire: Femme4Femme, April 25th (Tomorrow!), 8PM, Verses Festival, The Cutch, Vancouver. Get tickets here!

Purchases: From the Arsenal Pulp Press website or at your local bookstore. $14.95.


Creating new maps of gender, race, sexuality, and violence.

The copyrights of all poems included in the series remain with their authors, and are reprinted with the permission of the publishers.

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