“Five Senryū” by Timothy Liu

Timothy Liu


Blind Date

Scrabble tiles spilled
across the bedroom floor—

no one keeping score.




During One of Mahler’s Endless Adagios

The crinkled crackling
of a lozenge being unwrapped

followed by a yawn—




The Honeymoon

My body is not
Afghanistan so perhaps

it’s time you pull out.





when he unzipped
to display his sizable

stimulus package—




Spring Is Here

With cherry blossoms
swirling again around us—

stop talking so much!

from Rattle #47, Spring 2015
Tribute to Japanese Forms

[download audio]


Timothy Liu: “As a fan of short syllabic poems, I’ve been writing haiku (5–7–5) and tanka (5–7–5–7–7) for decades and keep them in a special file. I almost never send to haiku journals because they don’t publish the sorts of things I like to read. As for American letters, I think there’s a distrust of poems of such brevity (unless they’re translations of Basho!), so I mostly keep these little gem-like forms to my lonesome.” (web)

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