May 2002

Timothy Liu


photo by Wm. Fridrich Timothy Liu is the author of four books of poems, most recently Hard Evidence (Talisman House, 2001). He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey,

Archaic Torso 

You would have a childhood—unembarassed
doodles colliding into stained-glass windows
of cartoon nothingness. Your mother's garden
torn by an arctic blast. And now. And soon.
Some great erotic root splitting miles of poured
concrete—suburbs you would claim as a life
hardly lived. How quickly the self dissolves
in hearsay's acid bath. Flesh knows no future
but itself, each of us mining a secret dream
till we have tasted the deepest salt. All of us
money-starved and guru-crazed, empty pages
still trying to coax anxiety out from twenty-
something skin, ungroomed forsythia bramble
sparking electric yellow along the Jersey Pike—
hedges of it right on cue beckoning another
spring. Like runes on a Mayan stela overgrown
with vines. Or Rilke sizing up that immortal
torso just days before leaving Rodin for good.




Timothy Liu: Poetry
Copyright 2002 The Cortland Review Issue 20The Cortland Review