Qui tangit frangatur.

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Next Day

Between the cycles of wash and rinse, a song
about to be sung, all ears lulled by a radio
while toddlers teeth on disposable pens,
while lovers spill speed across the stones
of a glassed-in vivarium, lepidoptera at rest,
in flight, in dreams, each caught in a storm
of juvenile chatroom cyber smut soaking up
chronic carpal tunnel pixel by pixel, hypnotic
pre-dawn infomercial drone in exchange for
flat TV and digitized sound, our solitudes
wired into subterranean optic lines, decrypted
surge-protected codes cruising anonymous
glass abuzz with neon glow and embryonic
lexia languishing on a music stand, marginal
notes scribbled-out below the staff, below
the institutional clock face masking hours
in that brownout run ariot, your appetite
camouflaged in grunt fatigues dirtied-up
at the knees, a song about to be sung, daisy-
chained anxieties now horse-drawn through
a gas-lit park where the dread of connubial
bliss and miniscule tectonic shifts delivered
a tremor through the family skating rink—


Bodily need unmet where touch surpasses want as one reverberates all day

from the unremembered dream. Monuments wanted for every passing
moment—a pigeon balanced on each bronze wing of an angel overlooking

an anonymous grave. If we die, we died with our eyes on, the romantic said.

That's how palpable all should have been on earth as in the mind. Wordless
conversations that shaped us unannounced. The two of us standing there

with dust in our throats, two freight trains uncoupled at last. As if awaiting

judgment every moment of our lives, we who had lounged in bed with voices
burning like winter sun across the sea on which we sailed. He who sings

no more once sang to me, nurtured slow on lullaby, chords of troubled peace.

Timothy Liu is an Associate Professor in the English Department at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, and a member of the Core Faculty in Bennington College Graduate Writing Seminars. An author of six books of poetry, including Vox Angelica, Hard Evidence, Of Thee I sing and For Dust Thou Art, he currently resides in Manhattan.


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