Chen-ou Liu, CA



Free Verse


That Night

a night of Haitian ruins

the silence grows teeth
grinding noises

pierce my throat
my hand
ends the sentence



Haiku Sequence


Ten Thousand Things
For the people of Japan

Sendai earthquake...
the darkness pierced
only by flashlights

Fukushima plant

the vending machines
still glowing

a baby found alive
in wood and mud

a dog rescued
from drifting ocean debris --
the sun rising

radioactive scare
this a world of dew
and yet...





I kneel
before the stone cross; a fly
wringing its hands



again, he waits
in line to buy Super 7...
new moon



guests long gone…
debating over the price
of the gift



subway station...
all ears are covered
with headphone sets



her thigh prints
on the waiting room sofa
two watermelons



Buffet King at dusk
enough on your plate
yes, divorced and broke



an eagle's
shadow circles me...
chicken dinner?



catwalk models...
rows of middle-aged men
sit quietly



rewriting poems all day
a voice sounds like my own
yelling, Enough!



from hymn to hymn
the Sunday sermon takes
the shape of her face



Easter morning:
sunlight reflected
from the wine glass



deep tissue massage
what happens between
the poet and words?



Fine Art Gallery
full of still life paintings
her bouncing breasts



immortal through cloning…
he wonders what to do
on a Sunday





between my hands
there is a physical urge
inside my heart
the shadow curls up crying



the shadow claimed
I was the sun and will be
for I am not going away
I've lived underground since



they cut out
half of his inside
filling him
with the chemicals, the pain...

she pounds the table, I want...



I wake
from the Taiwanese song
mother hummed
decades ago

autumn rains on the roof



spills over her body
once again
my fingers follow
her curve into dawn



in wind-blown sand
I write my poem
where it's read, revised
and then erased



you are a verb
transitive, on the move
I am an adverb
wondering where to go...
what shall our subject be?



by blazing winter sun
I hide
behind closed eyes, reading
the weight of each passing face



Marry me
today and every day

he flies a blimp
over a rooming house



its lone face
stares out from behind glass
from panting...
are we kin to each other?



my mind
emptied of thoughts
as autumn gusts blow









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