Why I Was Late


With kitchen-table candour and empathy, Charlie Petch’s debut collection of poems offers witness to a decades-long trans/personal coming of age, finding heroes in unexpected places.

Why I Was Late fuses text with performance, brings a transmasculine wisdom, humour, and experience to bear upon tailgates, spaceships, and wrestling rings. Fierce, tender, convention re-inventing—Petch works hard. And whether it’s as a film union lighting technician, a hospital bed allocator, a Toronto hot dog vendor, or a performer/player of the musical saw, the work is survival. Heroes are found in unexpected places, elevated by both large and small gestures of kindness, accountability and acceptance. No subject—grief, disability, kink, sexuality, gender politics, violence—is off limits.

A poet so good at drag they had everyone convinced that they were a woman for the first forty years of their life, Petch has somehow brought the stage and its attendant thrills into the book. Better late than. And better.


Charlie Petch

Charlie Petch (they/them, he/him) is a disabled/queer/transmasculine person who resides in Toronto/Tkaronto. Petch's full-length spoken word vaudeville play Mel Malarkey has toured all over Canada. They have several handsome chapbooks, and Late Night Knife Fights was published with LyricalMyrical Press. A musician, lighting designer, spoken word artist, award-winning playwright, and host, Petch was the 2017 Poet of Honour for Spoken Word Canada, winner of the Golden Beret lifetime achievement in spoken word with The League of Canadian Poets, and founder of Hot Damn It’s a Queer Slam.
Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


Dear C-3PO – My First Boyfriend – Broiled Meat – Schoolyard Theatre – Stealing Candy at the Movies – The Ballad of Owen Hart – In the Distance – Things … 20 $2.00


Wookie Love – Church & Gerrard – Dropping Doves – Waltzing Armageddon – Life is Easier When I’m a Misogynist – Eat Prey Love – Electric – Why I … 22 $2.20


Buried Treasure – Crave – My First Lisping Hero – Ashes to Ashes – Throw Yourself on Furniture – The Saddest Country Song you Ever Wrote – Things I Left on the Road 19 $1.90


My Body is a Vessel? – Medical Secretary Phone Etiquette – Forward & Reverse – Complicated Migraine – Postical – One Year Since Your Death – La Visite … 19 $1.90


One Year Gender Queer – My Musical Saw – Passed Tense – Translucency – Just Some Band Names I Think are Cool – I am the Bat-Them – Beautiful Baby Blank – … 18 $1.80


Why Did the Trans Kid Cross the Road? – My Neighbour is Practicing Biological Warfare – I write about sex/ If I wrote about baking/ would I owe you a pie? – Our Love is … 18 $1.80