Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Friday, September 21, 2018

Night Shift Tanka

on my way home
from the night shift
the talk
with my shadow
six beers deep

Atlas Poetica, 33, 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Selected Haibun: This Drifting Life

I am here -- and not here. Every night I sleep in Taipei, but wake up in Ajax. My mind is winged by a yearning for things not yet lost. It flies into the garden of hometown memories.

between morphine drips ...
feeling the weight
of cold air

Haibun Today, 8:4, December 2014

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

To-Do List Tanka

my wife adds
one more item to the list
of what to do . . .
with my eyes closed, I hear
her laughter when we first met

Atlas Poetica, 33, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Horizon Tanka

on the horizon . . .
the years
before me
stretch thin

Atlas Poetica, 33, 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Selected Haibun: Suspended between Life and Death

On my way to work at the meat factory, a dewy green leaf is shaken loose and blown away from a maple tree. It floats along the sidewalk. Suddenly, a wind whips it about and sends it soaring skyward. Then, the wind stops and the leaf falls to the ground.

evening chill ...
pressing the razor
against my skin

Cattails, 4, January 2015

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Selected Tanka: Breeze Tanka

I open windows
(another day no poem
written down
only blocks of dead words)
and let the breeze in

Gusts, 20, Fall/Winter 2014

Monday, September 10, 2018

Selected Tanka Prose: I write, therefore I am

I try out
the word writer
in my Chinese mouth
several times ...
this bittersweet taste

I write poetry in the music of a language not natural to me. I am frustrated by my slow progress, but sometimes feel good about this hard fact: writing is the only thing I can do with my immigrant life here and manipulate it in the way I desire. When I stay drunk on writing, reality cannot destroy me.

at the gun-mouth
of time’s barrel
I write --
I live for myself
by myself

Whispers,  October 11, 2014

Specter of Death Tanka

midnight sun
hanging pale in the sky ...
hovers over me
like the specter of death

NeverEnding Story,  August 26, 2018

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Marilyn Monroe Posters Kyoka

an alley dog
howling in the night ...
I lie alone
in my attic room
among Monroe posters

Atlas Poetica, 33, 2018

Friday, September 7, 2018

Selected Haiku Sequence: Beginning of the End

I love you
on the tip of my tongue
spring drizzle

fleeting summer dream
between the spoken
and unspoken

my first taste
of make-up sex
crimson leaves

rumbling in the distance
her parting words

NeverEnding Story, September 19, 2014

Selected Haiku: Half-Empty Glass Haiku

door slamming
my half-empty glass
holds the moon

Brass Bell, 7, September 2014