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About Literature / Hobbyist Andrew Liu21/Male/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 7 Years
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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...



1. Abduction

The seasons are graceless after all.
What could make more sense than this
darkness brought about by a mother's grief.
Full bloom of fury, an ache of longing
as winter, as first fall
ever borne on the startled branches,
settles down upon the disbelieving eyes
of the broken world, illuminated
but cold, disturbed, and rudely-woken.

2. Reflection

In essence, it is a kind of kindness
to refuse our reunion. When I woke
to find her gone I was filled
with a darkness of relief.
There, I said, my words
come true at last.

Hanging, beside the cypress trees,
was a knotted kite, never flown
for fear of its inevitable departure.
I graze my feet against the waves of grass.
I hear the wind die, a part of the world
returns to find itself obsolete.
Nevertheless, something moves
beyond the trees. Something calls me
hanging from some high space,
begging to reconsider.

3. Amplification

All that I am collapses under the weight
of this single oppressive sky and giant
is my grief, it carries the weight
of all the earth and deadens the sky
so separate from love, so a giant too
must shoulder my grief,
made of ice and snow and fruitless trees.
I branch out beneath the alcoves of my heart.
Great streams of water flow beneath from each hole
in my heart, great, twisted fountain
of dark water, interred within, the numerous faces
the darkness of water, the darkness
of winter. And the river. Bearing my daughter
across that limbless sea. The river
grown vast as the desert county,
as the Atlantic sea. I see nothing now,
save the mists that time bears to hide
my daughter from me.

4. Search

Somewhere in this world is my daughter,
somewhere in this world
is the world itself that eludes me.
I shall set off to find it.
I shall see nothing but the shapes of her feet,
her running form, the reluctance with which
she abandoned me. I shall see nothing
but snow and ice save
the daughter
in the dark.

5. Recovery

Winter, you were not my child.
But suddenly you were born
and what could I do? What
could I do but mother you?
To my end, with all my fleeting love,
hate me if you will, daughter,
my world, I am not absolved
of motherhood simply because
you have seen me naked
and bleeding
within it.

But would I refuse it?
No. For how could I help
but see you restored to me?
Even if only to see you torn
away again. Even if only
to live with you in such
temporary, dreamlike states.
That then I would have changed
and you would have risen
to take my place.
What's it to you, moving across lips
in cafe city while the whole gang's aloft
on white smoke, on cigarettes torn from some
lonely cashier just checking out for the night,
gone night-night, heavily asleep, slipped
it seems, in some far-off world where memory
is remix and time serves as baseline melody.
Oh well, can't change your mind, maybe
rearrange or force-cancel your words
but nothing, lip service, locked doors
on shops, lamp light on replay, and the street
misaligned like a scoliotic spine. I can't digress.
It's too much work. Talking. Then moving.
Afterwards we'll ride the ferry, back home
someone's ordered takeout and the rooms
are filled with the smell of chicken, chipotle,
cheese, and brown rice. Color me surprise,
I honestly thought. And suddenly all honesty
is in thought. I'm nothing if not for my thinking,
and my thoughts mean nothing. Heavy night,
heavy thought, heavy words move slow across
lips. We slowly kiss. I fall in and out of love
so quickly my mental state is akin to a petal
in the wind, itself the subject of a zen poem,
a maybe-haiku, a sort-of-a-thing, but not  t h e  thing.
How long can I talk to you without feeling tired?
As the night removes its scarf, and day begins to dawn,
we've sat up all night to hear the end of our conversation
punctuated by a string of notes produced by some
sleep-deprived/sleep-derived roommate pissing like a horse,
and then some. What? And then some
smell of urine mixed with cologne, then eggs,
then frying, bacon probably, probs yeah, yeah y'know,
rice again from last night's half-eaten dinner,
redigested like some thought left over, leftover,
we should have left each other but—alone—scared enough
myself, for one night. And then—and then?
A narrative? A walk in the park? A clear racial identifier?
Who am I? Who's talking? Hi, hello, it's me.
I came close to remembering last night, this dream
I had and then forgot. You were in it. And suddenly
I was afraid. That when I forgot the dream,
——————————— somehow———
I had forgotten you.
America, the word
a foreign country in my mouth,
my hands wet from washing without soap in the public fountain,
an array of trees arrive early
with spring already in their hair,
ribbons of white plum lace their branches,
or else flowers dim with pink and the morning sun,
half-bald, half-Rococo,
Antoinette hairdos tall as the clouds
on a midwinter day, the sun
barely visible.

America, the garden
waiting in the high clouds,
I cover the early ground with faint dirges of snow
light as salt, flavorless
as saliva, hoping not to see the new blades emerge
and take on their waking forms.
I think it enough to sleep, to lie folded
like a cloth over the heads of the feverish,
I listen like a clock to the chuckles of the sick,
I will not die alone, I will not
die at all.

America, a home
without a common tongue. See how the birds
take their leave early in the season.
Watch them carve the air as skillfully
as the butcher who once made a pig's head bloom
for the mayor's inaugural banquet. They say
at night, you can still hear him carving
making flowers out of meat
before hanging up his knife and apron,
trudging up the steps to bed,
singing of the larkspur
on the tongues of dead cows. Flickering,
the light goes out. I have heard this singing
even as my own candle wears down.
I have sung myself these same sad songs.
I have heard them stopper the lungs
filling one's throat with the grease
of long-belated tears.
May all the hours fall like rain
splattering against the drunk ceiling as the stars
wheel and dance in the dust of this old office.
Let the thoughts, the mental notes, the worry
warts, the placid pull of plastic bottles
come. Let them come. Let the tedium
roar out of me like a fire hydrant
crushed by a car. Oh, the god of working hours,
he bends two hands in perfect grace
and lowers upon us the roll and pace
of working days: The tedium at the counter,
the monotony of customer service,
the bullshit boredom we breathe by the beaten hour.
And when the clock grows heavy, we close our eyes.
And when the shift is over, none shall find release.
And when children come running
from playgrounds and parents, from preschool
and the plush red pieces of the summer afternoon,
we remember the first paradise
was never in a weekend or a holiday,
but in waking without the ache
of knowing what the day may make,
what strange new bones, once offered,
may break.
It is such a relief to be dead
she said over the phone and I
could only stay at the sound
her words had made, the relief
she meant meaning more
than mere release.
That to be dead meant
this, that to be free of all this
meant death. The clock buzzed
and the room filled with noise
like water, I thought
of what it must have been like
for her, here. And now, (light
was draining out of the room)
that she is not anywhere (the street
grew dark, an old pond, and
out of it, something rising
like a body, a drowner
cut loose) I cannot
place her in this old home
nor among the unhinged stars.

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   Writer
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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