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About Literature / Hobbyist Andrew Liu21/Male/United States Recent Activity
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My first impression of this piece is that it isn't too ambitious and is written mostly for therapeutic purposes. I honestly didn't thin...

Hello, I will be critiquing your piece on behalf of :icongrammarnazicritiques:. I will do my best to help by suggesting improvements that can be made and genera...



It was no mistake that I ate the fruit.
It was sweet. I was young. I knew
where my loyalties lied. With me,
the earth could finally uphold
and swallow that precarious promise,
grow and grow. What does not wither
will not flourish. I was young
strutting about in a spring dress.
Mother told me to beware
what laid beyond the field.
This was the beginning
of all my faithlessness.
But if I loved anything
it was the chance to be free of innocence.
In the dark I grew like flowers
grow in the dark of the locked tomb,
doors that will never be opened
save for some thief, saved
from the light of a respectable heaven.
I was not naive. Ignorant, yes.
But I knew what I once wanted.
What I still want, first once, then more.
Love and a chance at life,
a freedom none are afforded.
Among the dead who walk the endless fields,
I came to be one among their number,
brighter, graced by holiest of ashes,
jewels of sorrow and beads of distress
adorned, piled high with the love
of a dark and drear-ruled kingdom,
I was locked in place. At your side,
I came to rule a world alone.
What terrified me was not the bare bone
under dim candles floating over black water.
What I saw was of no importance
but for what it meant. That you
were gone, and in your place some
thing appeared and named its dark form
“wife.” I had to run, you see. There was
a darkness I could not escape, that was
already inescapable the moment I laid eyes
on you, who I loved, on you,
who shall not be here hence and more.
I named my sons and daughter after you,
those tears swept fast and unceremonious
from my eyes, who now go and warp the world,
storm, and sun, and moon. Then at noon, none
shall know our troubles, our separation,
our splitting grief. Out of my one grief,
you were born. Out of our trembling union,
the land was split and made whole,
the earth was filled with both bloom and night,
and the sky, just born, soon came to be filled
with endless reams of snow.

Mature Content

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1. And wouldn't it be nice
under the coffee shop
to leave a smudge of word
or a bit of bone
or both?

2. Sure enough he came to pick me up,
I felt like some tree in winter, but it was heaven
in the outer world, in the canopy above, the leaves
whirled like fire, but it had rained
just now, and they were cold.

3. Poor thing tried alone
crossing the street, there was
something it needed
all the way past New and Atlantic,
no, it didn't see it, I don't
know, I can't seem to find
any reason for why my head
is bent like this, looking down.

4. Vignette almost sounds like vinegar.
If so, I must have both flowing through my veins.
It must look beautiful to God, whose eyes
see through varicose tissue as if
it were paper framed against sunlight.

5. You can always cut it open
if it refuses to budge. When she said this
to me, it seemed as if she wasn't talking
about onions or oyster shells.

6. The air beyond the roof
was clear and cool.
The air inside my room
wanted to strangle me.

7. In the land of the dead
I saw my mother. She seemed
so happy.

8. Out into the forest,
out into the world,
out of the body,
out of the self.
Into the sunlight,
like water,
These are the fruit
that can be eaten straight
to the core, no working
your way around, licking corners
or biting at the stone, for the fruit is
the core, the core
all the fruit. Bite
with the whole of the jaw,
firm vise of incisors, cut loop
of the molars' millet maunching
movement, the whole of the fruit
is all there is, the whole
of the jaw is all you have
to break through the cold
and leaden skin, yet
so brittle, yet so delicate
a single touch can leave it bruised,
flowering upon your teeth, hurt,
the lips split
and breaking!  

This, he understood,
after the garden melted into the past,
and the first chill of autumn broke
to the jealousy of a dead summer,
its mirage of heat, the apple's tart
and fired waver still glowing
like a branded mark on the tongue.
She kissed him, once over each eye,
as if to bid goodnight or say farewell.
Walking into the dark, alone with each other,
the first flowers in the land of the dead
came alive at their feet, ravaged by stone,
torn by the wind, yet in the midst
of all this airless chaos, the orchard
rose, a cocoon of flower
with hidden branch, where
the confounded silence
remains, the secret bloomed
and staying!
You have to be so patient at times, the world
slows down. I see the cherry with its white flowers.
I see the bamboo wasting away in the summer wronged by heat
and the words that stay inert. Motion, plane, ticket.
Lesson number eight. On Traveling.
So Da Wei wants to date Li An. So the airplane
wants to collapse, sighing on the runway. Have
itself a Newport or Marlboro. Wait,
no, it's taking off soon. And the air (under the far stars)
is okay, something about being no greater than
the earth itself, wait, no, it's just
a good day for take off. So
Da Wei wants her to stay. So
Li An yao liu xia lai. I want,
he says to himself, softly so even the air
must strain to hear it, I want, he says,
you to stay. Here. With.
Gen wo liu ba?

Even with this third grader's grammar book,
I can see his pained eyes, his strained voice,
just a hair away, a hand passing over
a face in sleep. He
wants. But she lifts up
out of the sentence, out of the page.
And suddenly it's winter.
And suddenly alone at Christmas
with nothing but a half-illiterate, fake Chinese
to read you the words pulled out of your life,

what more do you want to say?
What is there that doesn't already exist?

Suggested Reading

Journal Entry: Fri Apr 24, 2015, 12:29 PM

Was going through top ten sites and browsing randomly. Here's some poems I found:

"Diameter" by Michelle Y. Burke…

I like it for the way it puns on Diameter/Demeter. I like it for the way it compares stemming the gap of grief with geometry problems of circumference and diameter. I like it for the way it looks at grief as a solvable problem, even though it isn't. I like the way it approaches the impossible world after death.

"Factory Town" by Austin Smith…

I never knew you could enjamb like that. Turn smokestacks into cigarettes, trains into wedding veils. A river! A horse running from a gunshot.

"Casa" by Rigoberto Gonzalez

It's like Plath's "Mirror" but a thousand times more angry. Whereas Mirror is totally objective until the woman peers into the lake of the second stanza, thus filling it with all the human vulnerabilities and anxious hand-wringing of a dying body, "Casa" refuses to sympathize with anything that fills it. All the abnormalities and variations on normality play through years in this house, this speaker, so hollow, so empty, because in the end it is just a set of walls. It is not alive. It does not care about you or anyone. It feels nothing. But it sees you so clearly for the broken parts, its dispassionate voice and annoyance at your sentiment and human needs, it cannot help but mix its stone with its echoing music.…

"Government Spending" by Patricia Lockwood

Because it is damn funny. The funniest poet I've ever read. Fuck Edward Lear, fuck Kenneth Koch. This is irony in a tutu and steel umbrella. This is poetry with genuine mirth.…

"Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note" by Amiri Baraka

I'm working with narrative free verse. This is good narrative free verse. What's more to say?…

"Love" by Lloyd Schwartz

It's long but the ending is so worth it.…


Andrew Liu
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Andrew Liu, 20, student at East Los Angeles College, loves to write. That's me in the picture, staring at the Lansdowne Herakles in the Getty Villa. I've been writing since 2007 and I started poetry in 2011. My favorite genres are urban fantasy (Harry Potter, Percy and the Olympians) and fantasy (Cry of the Icemark, American Gods, Good Omens). I mostly write poetry. I switched over from prose because I could never manage to finish writing short stories. I write as a hobby but hope to make a career out of teaching and writing.

I'm an English major. My favorite period is American Modernism. I've read T.S. Eliot, E.E. Cummings, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens. My all-time favorite pieces of poetry are varied: Cathy Song "Cloud Moving Hands", Sharon Olds "The Elder Sister" & "I Go Back to May, 1937", Sylvia Plath "Mirror" & "Fever 103", Mark Doty "Tiara", Elizabeth Bishop "The Fish", and Muriel Rukeyser "Song for Dead Children."

If I were to summarize my writing style in three words it would be: lush, dream-like, and intense. People have always told me that I'm very good at imagery and description, but not so much at editing or making sure my work flows effortlessly.

Other hobbies I have include video games, anime, and more reading I guess. All time favorite video games: Folklore (PS3), Bastion (PC), Dust: An Elysian Tale (PC), Persona 4 (PS2). All time favorite animes: Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends), Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Magical Girl Madoka), Nodame Cantabile, Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist-manga only), and Magi (again, manga only). All time favorite books: Caramelo (Sandra Cisneros), American Gods (Neil Gaiman), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Asterios Polyp (David Mazzuchelli), Like Water For Chocolate (Laura Esquivel), and Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury).

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PatchworkLynx Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2015
Happy birthday!!!
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.
highonwords Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2015
hi andrew, happy birthday :)
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.
muscularteeth Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015
gorgeous gallery, idk how i haven't stumbled across you yet! can't wait to read more.
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Aww, thank you!
oviedomedina Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015
Thank you for the favorite!
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
BlackBowfin Featured By Owner May 21, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Hello Andrew.  Thank you kindly for the fave.  :)
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner May 22, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. Hey, do you give critiques or feedback?
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