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

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Death of the Author: A Tanka Sequence

For Roland Barthes (12 November 1915 – 25 March 1980)

after opening
the envelop stuffed with my poems
I take out
my heart, wash it clean
and start writing again

surrounded
by a swarm of buzzing words
I squash them
in the rhythm
of short, long, short, long, long

I keep
stacking blocks of stanza
suddenly
the poem collapses in silence
I am buried alive

under the gaze
of Calliope's love
my next poem
is about to take flight

but Heaven's window is shut

I skip
a stone of words
across the lake
of another time
another place



published in Lynx, XXVI:2, June, 2011