An Introduction to Kyle Liang by Tiffany Troy

I am thrilled to present this excerpt from Kyle Liang’s poetry debut Good Son, forthcoming from Sundress Publications, for Tupelo Quarterly. The excerpt opens with the title “Good Son,” wherein the speaker looks at the “pile of bones in front of [him] hopelessly small–/ flesh still clinging to the carcass, unwilling to be gnawed off / by [his] American mouth.” The phrase “Good Son” evokes the elder brother of the prodigal son, the son of an immigrant mother who “agreed” to have her uterus removed by the doctor, and the speaker himself who lays there as the state dictates “which parts [he] can keep and which are illegal.” The shadow cast by an omnipresent state that forces the speaker to always feel that he is insufficient is illustrated powerfully through Liang’s prose poems, “Property Line” and “Nonmaleficence.” In “Birds,” the speaker transforms into a dog, the inverse of god, as he pray[s] for parts that make [him] human / enough.” In the rainbow cast after the rain, we smile to see that the speaker is left “with a taste we can almost name,” that he too has found belonging through his beloved.

Kyle Liang is the son of Taiwanese and Malaysian immigrants. He is the author of the chapbook HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE (Swan Scythe Press, 2018) and the full-length collection GOOD SON (Sundress Publications, 2024). His work has appeared in Best of the Net, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, wildness, Diode, and elsewhere. In addition to working as a physician assistant at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, Kyle teaches at Quinnipiac University and Brooklyn Poets. He is an avid vegan, climber, and Knicks fan. Kyle lives in New York City with his wife Morgan.