Timothy Liu was born in 1965 in San Jose, California of immigrants from mainland China. With images resonating from the unlikely symbiosis of his Mormon upbringing and an emergent gay sensibility, Liu fuses the spiritual with the sexual in such collections as Vox Angelica (1992), Burnt Offerings (1995), Say Goodnight (1998) and Hard Evidence (2001). His fifth book, Of Thee I Sing (2004), was named a 2004 Book-of-the-Year by Publishers Weekly, its attentions focused more on world events than previously, a trajectory continued in his most recent book, For Dust Thou Art (2005). He has also edited Word of Mouth (2000), the Talisman anthology of gay male poets who wrote between 1950 and 1999.
BOOKS OF POETRY
A Zipper of Haze (Orem, Washington: Wine Press, 1988); Vox Angelica (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Alice James Books, 1992); Burnt Offerings (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1995); Say Goodnight (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1998); Hard Evidence (Jersey City, New Jersey: Talisman House, 2001); A Mighty Fortress (Brooklyn: Thorngate Road, 2001); Of Thee I Sing (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004); Vox Angelica (Ljubljana: Lambda, 2004), For Dust Thou Art (Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005)
╬Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
chagrined for having ever allowed chivalry’s mask to fall
an errant cell-phone’s “Fur Elise” disrupting the mood
stood close enough to my cowboy to see he worn it down
had said “no need to reciprocate” as he undid my belt
parts on each of our bodies that must secretly go unloved
like bloodied hibiscus trees kissed by pipe-bomb nails
almost as much pleasure in going in than the coming out
gossip’s steady stream glimpsed through an hourglass
our guarded reputations whistle-blown to class-action hell
Reprinted from New American Writing, no. 23 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Timothy Liu.