Chen-ou Liu, CA






cocktail chitchat
under the starlit sky
a distant howl



moonlit pond
a frog stares at a frog
staring back



red brick wall
spring clouds fleeting
in the attic window



puddled road home
one by one I step
on autumn moons



New Year's Eve
shredding my rejected poems
into confetti



peeing after sex...
I recall our summer night
at Bridalveil Falls




Haiku Sequences


Like Father, Like Son?


Father’s words linger
can you put food on the table?
reading Poems to Eat

at the departure gate
Father doesn’t wave back
summer heat

first homecoming
Father sighs
your hair turns gray

reunion dinner
my niece giggles
at my Mandarin

my poem to Father
it's raining, he murmurs

Note: Poems to Eat is written by Takuboku Ishikawa, one of Japan's most loved poets



Here and There


harvest moon
a ball of fire rolls
over the shanties

starry night
a wooden boat packed
with migrants

human bodies
are found on the beach
foggy sky

people stand
in long lines at a food bank
winter sun



Out of Place


autumn sunrise
over the Taj Mahal
teardrops on her cheek

those three words
slip out of my mouth
Tower of Pisa

something I've missed
in her watery eyes

a hazy moon
over the Rashomon Gate
does she love me?

Tibetan Plateau
faded prayer flags flutter
in the autumn wind

Great Wall
resting in autumn moonlight
the shadow and I

Lake Ontario
cupped in my hands
her moon face





A Time to Search and a Time to Give up
for Mary Macdonell


While walking alone, I see a large flock of geese taking off from the pond in the middle of a ploughed field. These snow-white birds rise in unison as the sun emits its first light.

nothing new
under the sun?
that spring day we met





for Homeless Artists...
I ponder
this English name
in my Chinese mind



with falling leaves
I dance on the grave
of my poems

in the beginning
the poet wrote mere words



three years of my life
have gone out the window
to pauses between writing poems...
the sound of falling leaves



I hang
the conformist in me
on the cross

a born-again poet
who speaks in concrete images



summer heat....
words make love on paper
like an aspiring member
from Dead Poets Society



for hours now
my muse and I
have played hide and seek

a lone star stares at me
on this Good Friday night



through the ages
geese leave no traces in the sky
...yet never forget
the way home



Kyoka Sequence


Black Friday


Thanksgiving night
Yo, all the iPods are gone
a man yells to the line
of cross-border shoppers
who camp outside Best Buy

my first time
to sleep at Best Buy
she smiles
as a shouting match
erupts inside the store

the staff yells
the 47-inch flat screens
are sold out
people waiting outside
shiver in the cold morning





a needle of writing sews up my sensory nerves

moonlight ripples through snowflakes

between sleeps the dagger of night stabs into fleshy secrets

moonbeams grace the pond a splash heard

tears from my mind deface the autumn moon

living between a rose fingered dawn and an ink dark moon

moonbeams hit the waves a sea of broken bones

midnight shedding light on the scars of my past

sleeping with banana moon I am pregnant with unborn verse

peeling off layered loneliness I weave a white quilt

my dead skin falls into a poem for the ground to read.

to Latin music a poem dances the cha cha inside me


*A monostich is a poem which consists of a single line. Examples of monostich style of writing are found throughout history.  In ancient times Marcus Valerius Martialis (known in English as Martial-- 38  AD - 102  AD), was a Latin poet from Hispania -best known for his twelve books of Epigrams, published in Rome between AD 86 and 103.

Modern monostich was started in Russia in 1894 when Valery Bryusov published the single line of pretty absurdic essence:О закрой свои бледные ноги. (Oh, cover your pale legs.)

In Western poetry monostich was reinvented by Guillaume Apollinaire in his "Chantre" (1914).

Monostich from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia









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