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Beast at Every Threshold

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An unflinching shapeshifter, Beast at Every Threshold dances between familial hauntings and cultural histories, intimate hungers and broader griefs. Memories become malleable, pop culture provides a backdrop to glittery queer love, and folklore speaks back as a radical tool of survival. With unapologetic precision, Natalie Wee unravels constructs of “otherness” and names language our most familiar weapon, illuminating the intersections of queerness, diaspora, and loss with obsessive, inexhaustible ferocity—and in resurrecting the self rendered a site of violence, makes visible the “Beast at Every Threshold.”

Beguiling and deeply imagined, Wee’s poems explore thresholds of marginality, queerness, immigration, nationhood, and reinvention of the self through myth.

ISBN-13: 9781551528830

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press Limited

Publication Date: 04-05-2022

Pages: 80

Product Dimensions: 5.80(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.50(d)

Natalie Wee is a queer creator. She is the author of Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines (San Press, 2021) and Beast at Every Threshold (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022). Her work was named first runner-up for the 2020 Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize, winner of the 2019 Blue Mesa Review Summer Contest for poetry, and a Best of the Net finalist. Born in Singapore to Malaysian parents, Natalie is currently a settler in Tkaronto and was part of Project 40 Collective, a Tkaronto-based pan-Asian artist community. She currently edits for Climate Justice Toronto and offers free services for BIPOC writers.

Table of Contents

In Defence of My Roommate's Dog 11


Rina Sawayama Sings "I Wanna Be Where You Are" 15

Inside Joke 16

Bordersong 18

"Can You Speak English?" 19

Field Notes: Time Travel 21

Asami Writes to Korra for Three Years 22

An Abridged History 24

Skin Hunger, with Waves 26

Blood Triptych 28

Frequent Flyer Program 31

Because "San Junipero" Said the Queer Bar Is a Marriage Hall 33

Music Theory: Opus 35

Self-Portrait as Monster Dating Sim 37

Coping Mechanisms 38

In My Next Life as a Fruit Tree 40

Ten Years after Diagnosis 41

In the Mood for Love 44

Self-Portrait as Pop Culture Reference 46

Birthright 49


Wei Ying Tells Me about Resurrection 57

Instructions for a Transmutation Circle 58

Immigrant Aubade 59

Phoning Home to Tell My Grandmother I Survived a Hate Crime 61

Asami Watches Korra in the Rear-View 62

Interruption: B-Side 64

Favourite TV Trope 66

Someone in Some Future Time 68

Listen I Love You Joy Is Coming 70

I Always Bet on Losing Dogs 73

Sayang 74

En Route to the Sixth Station, Chihiro Counts the Clouds 78

After the Atlanta Spa Shootings, We Sat in a Field 79

Self-Portrait as Beast Index 82

That Time I Thought Phoebe Bridgers Sang, "When I Grow Up, I'm Gonna Look Up from My Phone and See My Wife" 84

When My Grandmother Begins to Forget 86

Future-Proof 88

Etymology of Minotaur 89

When I Say I Want to Learn Your Mother's Recipe, I Mean 91

I Am My Dreaming Self Getting Better at This 92

Acknowledgments 97

Notes 99