frankenpo[modern_footnote]A frankenpo is an invented poetic text created by collecting, disaggregating, randomizing, rearranging, recombining, erasing, and reanimating one or more chosen bodies of text, for the purpose of diving or revealing new meanings often at odds with the original texts. “Visa” is a frankenpo combining texts of Presidential Executive Orders 13769 and 13780 (Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States) + Octavia Butler’s The Books of the Living, verses 1-66 + “Reflection on the Repulsiveness of the Body” from the Satipatthana Sutta.[/modern_footnote]


Dear love,
++++++++++++++++I have arrived in
++++++++the national hair.

++++++++Already, my prey nerves
are in the burn of growth
++++++++++++++++the ongoing build
of god
++++++++Everywhere, government
++++++++++++++++sponsored fanaticism
++++++++++++++++multiple acts of teeth.
Our love in a time
++++++++++++++++of inappropriations
++++++++of malicious inadmissibility.
++++++++The under
swarms our
++++++documents. Our


Dear proclamation,
++++++++how many
++++++++++++++++statutory galaxies in
++++++a single body? My internal
++++++++hemmed in
by procedural pleura. I am
++++++++++++++++a subsection
++++++++of light
in a fiscal country, where
++++++++++case by case                  life
++++++++++++in the shape
++++++++of prayer.


Dear disaster,
++++++++++++++++today I was
++++++++a swarm border
a spleen of
++++++++++++++++biometric information
++++++++pliable synovial data.

I was day
++++++++++++++++in an embassy
++++++++++of flesh.
++++++++In bones, fat
the gift immigrants
of us
++++++++++++++++water asks for
++++++++Here we rain


Thus have I heard:
We are visas
++++++++++++++++in a national

++++++++++++++++Each of us an executive
++++++++decision, pursuant to clay.
Each a subsection
++++++++of protocol
++++++++++++++++++++++++and yet.

++++++++Memoranda: I am a train light
the president of



Kenji C. Liu (劉謙司) is author of Monsters I Have Been from Alice James Books (2019), and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. His poetry can be found, among other places, in American Poetry ReviewAnomalyThe Feminist Wire, Gulf Coast, Split This Rock’s poem of the week series, several anthologies, and two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide(2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). A Kundiman fellow and an alumnus of VONA/Voices, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in Los Angeles.

“Visa” (poem) from Monsters I Have Been by Kenji C. Liu, Alice James Books, 2019.