When It Was Naam That I Drank, Not Water [eBook]
When It Was Naam That I Drank, Not Water: 21 Poems by Chang Liu
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By turns furtive glimpse, lingering gaze and hungry stare, Chang Liu's poems invite readers to step out of their Westerners' shoes and approach, barefoot as the Thais do, a shrine to sensuality. Problems arise when a Western gay man meets his Thai counterparts… but what if the Westerner is himself half-Asian and a student of Thai culture, and what if his blended identity begins to shift and blur under the force of the Thai monsoon?
These poems distill the author's experiences as a gay man living in Thailand, studying Thai dance and language and discovering the extraordinary sensuality of a country so often portrayed by Western media as a sex ATM. Each poem title appears in both Thai and English, a reminder that the writer’s perspective wanders, even strays, from Western to Thai, then back again, refusing to take sides, wary of the traps of identity. These poems are Chang Liu's “three sticks of incense” to Thailand, an offering to the shrine of sensuality.
Chang Liu's poetry has appeared in TOK Book 5 (Diaspora Dialogues & Zephyr Press, 2010) and The Dry Wells of India (ed. George Woodcock, 1989).
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