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About Literature / Hobbyist Core Member Andrew Liu21/Male/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 6 Years
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Given by spoems
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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...



How well can you know this man
who's just been shot to death
on a movie screen?

Can you tell me his name? His truth?
His imaginary world that lingers
even after the brain dies, even after
the eulogy is said and the energy is spent
to decorate his coffin and place flowers
on his threadbare grave?

How well do you know him? Or else
anyone else, roaming the streets, lingering
in libraries and coffee shops, each
-illion of strangers and strangers,
you pronounce their names
coldly, within that one word, “Em-pathy.”

Then, tell me their names. Call them out, see
if they turn to you. No?
You are alone.
As any of us. How well
do you know this man?
Dying on the movie screen
spattered with blood, the pool
widening as his own mouth
begins to laugh.
So much was said. And then it was lost. Somehow,
words are failing at what they once meant.
Despite the mouth and lips, the good-intentioned tongue
and teeth, clinging to the walls like aunts and uncles
witnessing a fight between father and son, everyone
is a failure. No word escapes meaninglessness, no mouth
escapes nonsense. Nothing you say can matter, every word
walks out into the storm after graduation. It is June, the rain
won't let up, even here, in California. “What is
the point,” each word seems to think. That our drought
goes on. That the rain does not cancel it
despite its weight. What is the point of the gown?
This ceremony? When I threw my cap in the air,
said “celebratory”, our gold-tasseled valedictorian, I felt
like I was king, a floating light, or some deep sense
of growing appreciation for just
that seemingly worthless thing. Too bad
it's not true. And he trudged off into rain,
the water soaking his back looking like a pair
of malformed wings.
Outside, the baseball game never ends.
Even at night when the valley darkens down
and the lights go up, illuminating the empty diamond,
nothingness is pitching a ball and moving it across still air.
You can still hear a mother shouting at the top of her lungs,
it is too loud to be heard, too unclear to understand
her moment of fear, that outburst of rage, two hands cupped
amplifying her mouth into nothingness, into a blur of sound,
that's it. You can freeze it in your mind, the moment the light
broke apart and nothing happened. Nothing still going strong
all these years, pitching and failing and failing again.
You can lose your place, press a foot to the plate.
Hold the ball up to your nose. You can let it go.
Make nothing happen. All you ever do is this.
Nothing you do is wasted. The air left behind,
the baseball diamond, and the empty sky.
1. Into the Desert

A bee drills its zero into wood,
the air is poison and flushed with noise.
Not the sloped terrains of our hill-lands,
not the sudden end in the valley, the beginning
of mountain and desert winging the dry basin,
the wind so harsh it is almost successful
pulling out into the air's blank gaze the invisible
hairline of water tickling the sandswept face:
tired and limp, hungover with feverish clouds,
the sky converted into one of us, a
bricolage, a conglomerate, a made-up word, eve-ry-
-thing an amalgam of steady, disordered momentum,
a body of fluid truth lying on the grass
as ants fill each pair of stoppered lungs
with dark jaws.

2. Zero

What is this? A glowing
absence? A sudden diaspora
of rainy refugees from the kingdom
of climate change? It is a dead thinker
that always makes sense. It is a dearth
of rippling wonder that voids the living wind
weighing it down, overwriting
its intense, tangential cursive
with deadened words.
                               Somewhere, the moon
                   must be broken like a plate.
            Scattered above the stars
the remains of someone's life
             mugged like a drunk on the way
                        to heaven, a pack of smokes,
                             a Cigar Nebula, three thousand,
                                       six hundred              million
light years away—
       somewhere the moon
                     must be a hole to some
               distant, ignoble paradise.

3. The Body Collective

Am I not a tuning fork for the old lady
longing inside the hospital's long-term room,
nurse-round, white-wound hell
of syringe, seclusion,
and inconstant sleep? Now I must
resonate with her gazing into trees,
overcome with a perfect, fearful
dreaming this body into flower,
flickering, in wind and rain. Shadows
linger on that face
she pushes through the window, contained
in a haze, breath-made, and dark frost of glass,
wondering at the sky and its imperfect limbs
stranded in air, wired to nothingness,
drifting, the flowers of ghost-washed trees in free-fall,
in faceless papering.

4. Ruin

Even in this nightmare of an amusement park
doesn't the sky ever get tired of making
all this snow?  

5. Artist as God Among the Dead

When dad saw me drifting among the dead,
still alive, yes, but studying their faces,
obsessed with their fingernails and still-
bloody wounds, he told me to get the f**k
out of his house. This was something that
always belonged to him, a temper, a misery,
the shrug of command, a bitten bit of heart
rusted in time that was not mine
anymore, that he crushed like a photo
of me at five years old, alone in the bath
laughing at bubbles, something small, sad,
a little cruel, but he doesn't know it, a fragment
of me that I was all too happy (too alone)
to leave behind.
                           My father, he sang,
“Don't let the stars inside your eyes,
don't let the moon break your heart.”
But I did, going dark, blinded by large
Magellanic clouds, hovering like a witch
overcome with wonder, weight
in defiance of gravity, the moon
among the pieces of this self, I
was rapturous. I was amazed.
I could tear down the walls of heaven
with a song.
Caviar, w/ forbidden fruit,
plated modernist, cities bordering
the gold edges. Pomegranate jeweled,
carrot julienned, caviar, sea salt,
basket of wine and bread.

Flickering fingers, red touch, the consummation
of lips, hard with raw love, a ditty, the spire,
needling desire, obtuse, rondure, curvature
of the breast-tops, spun bottle, kiss kiss.
Crumbling white, the city in bedsheets.

Desire's blue fuzz dominates the sky,
glassy and out-of-it, the cool working
of the tangled tongue, stubbles out, trenched,
collecting cool water, flickering, overspent,
bottomed, pulleyed into an eye of surfeit bills.

TV screen, microwave dinner, the looped holes
of the backyard window, dog barking, paintjob,
daddy's old car in the trashed garage, nail polish
on sale, 99 cents per bottle. Body alone, body
on top, corrupted and moved by multiple arts:

Art of the kiss, the twist and the turn,
the telenovella, the k-drama, and period piece.
C'mon, hurry up, the dance
is waltz, the steps Cycladic.
Jane Eyre on the mic crooning bar tunes,
blues converted, nineteenth century, top
of the pops, oh c'mon, the world
is waltz, is touch-tap, dance moves blurring
the ballroom windows, that smear with rain,
the night sky tormented by the sound
of light kissing, careless laughter, one world
of distant, inaudible music. On-screen,
caviar, w/ forbidden fruit.

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  New Deviant
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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