Timothy Liu reads from Let It Ride
Updated: Sep 15
A year ago I got in touch with Timothy Liu and asked if I could record him reading from his new book, Let It Ride,which was coming out in September. Well, one thing led to another, and we never got around to doing it. But during the pandemic, I ordered a copy of Let It Ride and when it came and I read it, these personally universal poems made me so excited that I got in touch with Tim again, sheltering up in Woodstock, and suggested that we do that recording, a Zoom recording, the way we do things these days, distantly near. So, here we finally are, Timothy Liu reading from Let It Ride. Enjoy.
Three poems from Let It Ride not on the Vimeo:
… De Rerum Natura
The bliss wears off.
The blessed state comes to an end.
A snowflake melting down a windshield.
A windshield melting inside an atomic blast.
A well-heeled fire burning in the hearth that freed our hands to tend one another.
Dawn heralding our last day, thermostat set a sixty.
All weekend the cottage was cold, winter dissolving into spring, the thaw just getting going.
In our post-coital haze, the universe seemed an even colder place.
His body covered with an alpaca blanket hand-woven in Peru, the backyard bonfire burning on a bed of slow coals.
His wife and son in another city hundreds of miles away.
Me leaning down to kiss his cock that had shriveled into a bud.
To taste the last wetness.
All day I carried his seed inside me, my body lit from within.
Not like a Giotto angel.
Stronger than that, more raw.
Like a woodpecker spearing grubs in a lightning-struck pine, knocking echoes through the woods.
Our minds attuned to sounds alone.
To quickening breaths.
One likeness leading to another.
A vodka flask in a glove box drained to the dregs.
A face in the mirror looking like a preacher who will leave his congregation.
As the hours grow heavier, more fragrant, the mercury rising up to seventy.
All those years, desiring and resisting, resisting and desiring, he says!
What world are we even waking in?
A cardinal flits by in a blaze of color looking for his mate.
The welcome crash.
Song by song, bird by bird, soon to be buried under the sky’s open vault. …
My body is not Afghanistan so perhaps
it’s time you pull out. …
… To Autumn
Harder to enjoy the foliage this fall when we hear reports of folks scavenging leaves off trees to cook for dinner in Eastern Aleppo where the bakers are cutting bags of flour with bits of dried spaghetti ground up in order to make a few extra loaves that will sell for $2.50 each when the average monthly salary now for the families that remain is less than thirty dollars and we wonder if there’s still something we can do about it in a republic where elected officials can’t even correctly name the country this bombarded city resides in, can’t name a single relief agency we could donate to if asked, the leaves falling into Central Park’s Great Lawn holding us spellbound even more than ruins scattered throughout the Met’s Greek Wing— damaged marble whose colors time has stripped away.
Here is a link to Timothy Liu’s website. Check it out:
Let It Ride is published by Saturnalia Books. You can check it out here: