Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tanka Prose--By Chen-ou Liu--Canada

I write, therefore I am

I try out
the word writer
in my Chinese mouth
several times ...
this bittersweet taste

I write poetry in the music of a language not natural to me. I am frustrated by my slow progress, but sometimes feel good about this hard fact: writing is the only thing I can do with my immigrant life here and manipulate it in the way I desire. When I stay drunk on writing, reality cannot destroy me.

at the gun-mouth
of time’s barrel
I write --
I live for myself
by myself

Chen-ou Liu is the author of four books, including Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize Winner of the 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest). His tanka and haiku have been honored with many awards. To read more of his poems, please go to Poetry in the Moment,


  1. somehow the language differences just add an extra dimension...

  2. It is amazing the passion to write, no matter where, no matter whom......... it is strong, passionate and definite! Keep on writing and writing. It cleanses the soul! Sheri

  3. How very interesting this poem. I really enjoyed the read. Thank you for sharing your talent for writing poems,

  4. Hi Chen. I enjoyed reading your Tanka. I'm still getting used to this form, but I like what you have shared with us here at Whispers. Continued blessings!

    -MJ (