new zealand electronic poetry centre


Yang Lian

online works


Broken foot that walks the wall

whether or not every wall that grows higher can overlook the sea
will teach you to walk without shame
a broken foot is only a panicking face
watching a body abandoned by an anklebone
below the cliff a shattering sound so like your snore

a rainstorm makes the sound of wooden footsteps too
when every window is opening    itís a sky sealed tight
as on the trees hangs each last year of the leaves
sawn-down trees pregnant every season
flocks of birds scraped clean    hover behind the terminus

whether or not the weeping of a broken foot is silence
once toenails are ghostly pale    they dip into the glass of this sea
imagine a jailbreak that never once bleeds
youíre paralysed on the wall    canít walk
but the walking spring is bricked into a wall

withering into stone    the next naked unlearned word
you must sign for the laughter of two broken feet
that laughter that even snoring hasnít shut off
the sea overlooks you as if a terrible success
has trampled foul footprints over your face


© Yang Lian

Last updated 13 October, 2001