new zealand electronic poetry centre


Yang Lian

online works



by no means only those who have lived    deserve to die
hose names buried lifelong beneath silence
have signed the silence    this city you split with your own hand
a deserted street pretending to be a funeral procession
and moonlight hard as iron
bones clang in galvanised palms
outside long-forgotten windows    snare drums rattle
every word you deleted in your life comes back to delete you

unstintingly deletes    wolfishly deletesthe world deleted    the face among the specimens is closer, clearer
delete the eyes    vision will sharpen the glass along the way
with delicate lines engrave a bird
like one that was shattered as you watched
crumpled    discarded    on a manuscript rotting in a corner
your final death is intimately familiar with
an old room from which the wreckage of death waits to be removed


Yang Lian

Last updated 13 October, 2001