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About Literature / Hobbyist Premium Member Andrew Liu20/Male/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 5 Years
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Given by thetaoofchaos
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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...



after Stevie Smith, her haunting song, Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard her, this lady of bone
pressing her lips to the red, red boy.
I was putting on a dress and crying
tears, not blood but lipstick.

Poor girl, she ate up parlor tricks.
And now he's dead.
It must have been too much for the two,
I guess.

I lied, I liedliedlied. It was never enough.
(She ate his tricks and pressed her lips)
I was watching, jealous and tramp-like, crying
not tears, not blood, but lipstick.
after Elizabeth Bishop, her wondrous fish

I plucked a massive weed
holding it up in the burning light
exposed, root up, gloves clenched
on the terrible, fanning leaves,
the slashed stems like
bits of broken bone,
torn ends trailing
like a soft mist, like a winding thread.
Inert and silent, moving heavily in the sunlight
the three-pronged taproot sucksucksucking,
sewage pipe filled with rain and malice
eating like a worm in the carpets
of grass, innocuous, sinless,
hiding among the innocent blades,
the sharp-toothed scissor leaves,
the omnipresent dandelion,
nameless, unseen, a fat delight
swelling to a bloat, authentic
glutton grown green
and happy. Here and there
pulling a drop, each
delicate jewel of rain
quivering like gallbladders,
shining beneath the surface,
a clear vein of gold and light.
It knew what each jewel meant.
It knew the thirst it would acquire.
Still, it bored its holes, threaded each drop,
wearing on its roots the sibilant pearls
surreptitious, stolen, sweeter than a kiss
of the honeyed bee. Roots
of a thief, weathered, wrinkled fingers,
wagging in the moved earth, the fine hairs,
capillaries of an ancient heart,
spirals of free-form smoke, flying
dulled and blind with soil,
broken by an aged blade
from a mower far older than I.
I smiled to think of what I had done.
I laughed to see its roots torn from the ground.
Where once was an ugly, greed-filled thing
was just another hole in the ground.
I knew I had done myself right.
I knew that if the roots were ever buried,
the weed would resume and continue staying.
The drooping leaves, heavy with defeat
would soon again swell with pride, fan out
peacock-bright. Those heavy limbs, these torn stems
branching, thickening, resolving to hold fast
an infection against the tender earth.
I feverishly imagined such hoggish roots
drawing downdowndown into the unseen depth,
catching like an anchor into some heavier rock,
invading the very marrow of this world. Lymphatic,
viral, deep-cored, and more numerous than ever
I would never again feel this enlarged. Never again
so justified, so aright, so splendid with light. No.
If not for me, if not for the hole in the ground,
waiting like a mouth to fill with susurrous sound
than for defeat. I shook. I shook and shook.
As my blood-brain barrier gave way,
as fire took my labyrinthine skins apart,
as red flies ate through the walls of my heart,
as everything grew tight and terrible and hot
I threw the weed away.    
The eye holds everything.
In it, the flight suspended, the crew
lost in the pillaging air, how the air became
its own wrath then, a thousand blades of atmosphere
cutting into wings, cutting like teeth, the friction alone
its own serrated edge. Disintegration         after
an O-ring seal      right solid rocket      outright failure at liftoff.
The eye holding everything, everything together.

Over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral,
11:38 EST, a breach in the joint it sealed, the air a sudden
and never-before-seen marvel, widening and widening
for one long plunge? This too, this
                                                  nothingness. Something
        to be shown up. Show me
                   all my absolutes,
a diversion, a dilation,  
                      a diaphanous grace. My own
                                                              trembling eye.

      It was like a bird, she  said. Like a bird and the smoke and the fluted
           rising white. She      shook her head and came loose,
          a crib, a candle,             a bed of leaves. She wondered where everyone
had gone. The exact                   timing of death, of the crew—
        All unknown,                       nothing known at the time— but
                   here                         was the joke she heard in the office,
      the air falling,                         the water, rising to meet them: “You
       feed the kids,                         I'll feed the fishes” as if nothing
              they said                        could cross the air,
         into the world                   they couldn't see—As if
                   words too             were nothing more
                 than a bridge       to build,
                             to drop  through air.

   She stared,
till even         the falling smoke was nothing:
          an eye,
                    an omission,
                                an empty set.

    in the wake of tragedy
       or                  or
           disaster,         the moon's
        hollow rising,  

                                               to listen,
to the nation's pleas,                                      
                       to our own shallow breathing
            —ringing in midnight fog—
as the hammer                                
                        was brought down
                                                        on the engineers responsible—

                    —Space Shuttle Challenger—
           seventy-three seconds into its flight, seven crew members
    were led to their deaths in the worst
                      space shuttle disaster

on record. Fragments
            eventually recovered from the failure of
wreckage show:
seven kinds of nothing, no signs of survival,
cremation upon impact, the memorial—
a lousy service, no, don't say that, everything, everyone
was so polite. Even the air

seemed like a bridge…They said,
“We were trying, building a bridge to—
A swallowing of tongues.

Two thousand four hundred
                                            eighty-seven miles away  
                 in San Francisco.    The girl watches as
                             the object of her eyes,                                       Christa McAuliffe,
is led into the massive tower, her eye
follows the slow divvying up of work
                                                              and time, counts
with the announcer in a flat voice, almost
                  empty, a void:                                   3, 2, 1. Liftof-
A burst of white.      The tower                                                               Ascending.
falls.          Away from Earth—————— —— — – — - – - – - Ascending.

Climbing a bridge
                             you could not see.
Made of heat, of fuel, the pure locked moving,        a streaming of banners:
   the brutal flow             of air.     This too, the hard     gas
 disassociated  jet  propellant,    the static threads
of   aerodynamics.     Even through
    the   r   a   t  t    l  e d   cage of the TV,     what she perceives,
what she pulls      from the escaping light:
the arc of flight,
                         the brief, brief end.

A child cries, people
    are still half-smiling, unsure
of what they have just witnessed, the screams
   are yet to be untangled from disbelief. The noise
they make. The announcer
continues,    in flat monotone, a contrast of calm that belies
                       the sur-
                                  -reality of what just happened.

Detached, a
   —a firework? As everything
is swallowed by the blue, oblivious sky
   most people start to calmly walk away. Others
start to sob. Their eyes come up slow,
   bridging together the import, the broken core
of what just happened. Somebody's gone
    to get somebody.
                               Nothing remains in the sky.

“We're a bridge,” she said to herself, as white water crashes,
“We're a bridge and-
                                 there it is, all falling.”  -falling
    a disease of snow
                                      all around her)

Why did it happen, why       didn't anyone do anything
to stop it       and the sheer      mad        roominess is…  
well, there was nothing so eager to please
to begin with    and there       over the water,       over      the hovering lights,
                 —the lights of forgiveness or disaster...

and the sheer drop and the work back at home
——and the water rolling.         And she thought about it
     for a minute thought      and        was made
wanting,        she drove her mind          into its own kind of water
and the bridge, and the red of it?
       water,        a body,        flying off the Golden Gate Bridge, it too

was a manner of crossing. And she left the body
like a house she was sick of owning, of owing.         You gave it up
like a child for adoption, for the air         to swallow
———back into its basic, protean cradle:
to develop into its own sink       or swim.       And the water
became for her         a new home,         a new mother,

new moon mother         embracing her,
cold perhaps          and a little cruel        but—
—she wept—    to feel     so much blood,      so much
of the body's betrayal             leaving her and they left
together    on that      self       same        bridge         descending
into clouds, into           a high empyrean

         nobody would know her name, nobody
             would forget that name that still pushed,
      that throbbed, against the air itself—a flaw,
             an awe,
                      a kind of forgiveness—      the way        
                                                           the body gives up, the way
                         that in its decay, the body too—
                  becomes a bridge to God.
A Thousand Blades of Atmosphere
A piece I wrote for a contest. I didn't make it, but at least I get to put it up now. Also, concerning the actual physics of the Challenger explosion, it wasn't because of air friction. In fact, the reason why spacecraft heat up upon reentry into the Earth's atmosphere is because at the speed they're going the air molecules can't get out of the way fast enough and become compressed in front of the falling object. This is known as air compression and it is not why the Challenger exploded. That was because of structural damage due to faulty engineering. But this is a poem, so I have taken liberties. A lot.  

Critique for TWR:…

1. What do you think of the speaker?

2. --the imagery?

3. --the formatting?

4. What is your literal interpretation? Your figurative?

5. Further comments? 
Dead girl drifting in a smoke-filled room,
the lover cannot hear the love song, turning
and churning in the widening night. Love is
abstracted, the heart is made of static and cities.
The sky closes down to portal across
a procession of mourners, crowds of
clown fish, crowned in fireflies.

And that was the truth of the matter:

All the music of this world
cannot heal this broken heart.
All the beauty of heaven and star
cannot restore you to life.

He muttered on his wedding day, the sun
sinking down on heart's horizon.

The truth was this, that:
Fate is powered
by the suffering of lovers.

full of dark wood,
dark water. Here,

accompanied by a floating orchestra
that filled the air to surround him,

he began his descent.

The violins pluck their strings
in a forest of burning spindles
and prickling thumbs. Surrounded
by the souls of the dead, their plaintive howls
whisper high above the air, on inhuman frequencies.

But for Orpheus this
was nothing but another mass of notes
to arrange, to reorder, to transform, to transform.
Let the howls trumpet your coming, let the wind
bend to your song, to the endless performance of grief.

Let the three-headed dog
howl at your approach, helpless
against your onslaught.

Let the heart break in twain,
let the remains smolder and ruin,
to shudder in vain.

into the oblivion
of love, its shattered bone.
of decay
and destruction.

There he goes, clear-eyed
with madness, driven sane
by the hate in himself
and the indifference of the world.

Why run from paradise?
Why claim darkness as anything less
than a different form of joy?

And the dead too:
For we are many that are One.
For we are One who are many.

Out of the walls of forest,
the cracked earth floor, the ceiling sky,
suddenly so brave and so eager
to try out new things, to make
waves where once
only ripples were possible.

Singing, let the clouds overflow, a thousand
wild brides, running, barefoot,
bouquets in hand, thrown up
for the stars to catch, to greet the world
that waits beside them, beside the threshold
of a sunlit horizon, swelling
like a heart, filling with honeyed light!

I think
when he looked back
it wasn’t because
he doubted she was there
but because, he wondered
if he’d ever come
to sing like that again.
Orpheus, Underworld, Descent

A meditation on the uselessness of art, its impracticality, and in spite of that,

its essential belonging to us all.  

There was never any room
for happiness, for the kind of blind forgiveness
that God purports to give, to offer
like so many other lies (flowers
for funerals, like a summer
full of Monday, like the seasons' seduction
and betrayal, continuous, cyclic, full of mornings
made gray, the world
polluted by our own desire
for revenge against the divine spark) nothing
could ever be enough.

So we left, ate the apple, stole the sun,
shot down moons and stars for the children to play with,
and took our leaving as serious as our living.
We drifted through desert worlds full of sand and regret
as if the very earth were rising up to mirror our own
barren lives. Look at all the balloons we have stolen
from all the malfunctioning carnival rides.

And why wouldn't we? Taking what was left
was better than leaving all there was
to be eaten by sandworms and stolen by time,
whose many thieving hands we once
held in our own, shaking, “brother, dear brother,
of mine,” our most ancient, unjust irredeemable.

And let's be honest. There was never any room for us,
for happiness. Golden as the garden was
it was already flawed. We did not always see
the eaten holes of leaves, the fading patches of grass,
the one child born with less energy than the others.
Oh god, we were naive! Sticking our thumbs
beneath our asses. Struggling to comprehend
the blades of dying grasses! To say nothing
of miscarriage.

How were we ever to succeed? This life
was not for us to keep. We knew
that much. After all, after the fall
watching the broken world arise,
and the false garden vaporize,
maybe we knew then how hard it was to breathe
in bodies of gold with lungs of tungsten and silk.
And dying trees and living ones too, just deciding
to be here anyway, to put down roots to do what they do.
We were never going to be perfect anyway.

Was it worth it? Well.
In any case, look:
I can flip the bird now
and give the fig.
I can kiss someone
without waking them up.
Okay, so there's a contest going on at that my friend Josh is hosting. This is the third year he's done it and I can tell you from experience it's really fun and challenging. It's essentially a nine week long contest that spans the summer. There will be a prompt every week ranging mostly from prose, but sometimes requiring poetry or screenwriting. It's open call, although only ten lucky writers will get to participate, so make yourself a free figment account and check it out here. Anyone can join and submissions last until May 15th, 5/15. Contest starts Monday, June 2nd.

Here's the guidelines:

1.) Contestants must be American citizens (or currently living in the U.S.A) to be eligible. 
2.) Contestants must be 15 or older to be eligible. 
3.) Open call begins Tuesday, April 1st at midnight and will close on Thursday, May 15th at midnight. ALL eligible writers will be considered, but only 12 writers will be chosen to compete. ANGAVol. 3 begins Monday, June 2nd
4.) Contestants will be performing weekly challenges and must be positive they can actively participate for 9 weeks. 
5.) All are welcome to join the ANGA,Vol. 3 group as fans, but only contestants will be allowed to compete in the weekly challenges. 

Spectators are more than welcome.


Andrew Liu
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Hi, I'm Andrew Liu. I'm 19, a student at East Los Angeles College and Pasadena City College, and I love to write. That's me in the picture, staring at the Lansdowne Herakles held in the Getty Villa. If I look bemused, it's because he doesn't have a dick. I've been writing since middle school and I started taking it seriously around senior year, so, sixteen or seventeen. My favorite genres are urban fantasy (Harry Potter, Percy and the Olympians, Fablehaven, that sort of stuff) 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. And I mostly write as a hobby.

I'm also an English major. My favorite period is American Modernism. I've read T.S. Eliot, E.E. Cummings, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens. I'm a big poetry buff. My all-time favorite pieces of poetry are pretty varied though: 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).

I swear I read and watch more than this, it's just I'm really picky and have strangely specific tastes. Ask me for writing critique and feedback. I'm more than happy to give advice.



Add a Comment:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015   General Artist
hello there, lovely person! :huggle:
this is to inform you that i have made use of one of the titles of your poetry in my title poem over here: :love:
i hope that this is alright with you, pray that you enjoy the read, and thank you for your inspirational artistry! :eager: <3
akrasiel Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014   General Artist
Thank you so much for reading and favouriting my work. :huggle:
Ponix7 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014
I am amazed by the diligence and discipline you have for writing, including the sheer volume posted on DA.  It motivates me to do more, and I enjoy reading your work.
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Aw, thank you.
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
:wave: A random "hello", Andrew.
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
oviedomedina Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014
Happy birthday!
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.
oviedomedina Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014
No problem!
iris2501 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist

:iconrelievedplz::iconsaysplz: Ha, sorry for the delay, but I was out for a while and I just could not thank you.

:iconheehee-plz::iconsaysplz: Thank you so very much for the fav

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