new zealand electronic poetry centre


Yang Lian

online works


Sea of dead lambs

your fleshy coffin long since nailed shut
below soaking lambswool    seaís flesh
opens a rank book
makes a naked woman wrapped in hides read it by the fire
when snow swallows a flock of lambs itís deaf
wailing choked in a scarlet lung
fish die in utter whiteness below the shattered glass
sheepís eyes    finally empty enough to recognise this winter sea
blood freezes    recognises the wrung necks
someone turns slowly transparent staring into the storm

then all pain is frostbite
a catlike body, bones removed
so soft the biting snow leaves toothmarks
as your heads all balled with mud abandon the truck in a pile
terror    driven deep into frozen ground    squeezes heat out
grey black seawater like a drop of milk suckled after death

spring has sold you    out itís long gone now
summerís semen was in sweat all along
but embryos poke from the wombís jelly
smell four hooves that rush towards the bitter chill
rush into snow     organs prematurely dead grow pain-free at last
deathís bright flesh breeds vast shadows
sheepdogs by the thousand swoop in the window    madly barking
watching you from the sea    your revenge staying on through winter


© Yang Lian

Last updated 13 October, 2001