Timothy Liu reads from Let It Ride

A year ago I got in touch with Timothy Liu and asked if I could record him reading from his new book, Let It Ride, which was coming out in September. Well, one thing led to another, and we never got around to doing it. But during the pandemic, I ordered a copy of Let It Ride and when it came and I read it, these personally universal poems made me so excited that I got in touch with Tim again, sheltering up in Woodstock, and suggested that we do that recording, a Zoom recording, the way we do things these days, distantly near. So, here we finally are, Timothy Liu reading from Let It Ride. Enjoy.

Three poems from Let It Ride not on the Vimeo:

De Rerum Natura

The bliss wears off.

The blessed state comes to an end.

A snowflake melting down a windshield.

A windshield melting inside an atomic blast.

Everything dissolves.

A well-heeled fire burning in the hearth that freed our hands to tend one another.

Dawn heralding our last day, thermostat set a sixty.

All weekend the cottage was cold, winter dissolving into spring, the thaw just getting going.

In our post-coital haze, the universe seemed an even colder place.

His body covered with an alpaca blanket hand-woven in Peru, the backyard bonfire burning on a bed of slow coals.

His wife and son in another city hundreds of miles away.

Me leaning down to kiss his cock that had shriveled into a bud.

To taste the last wetness.

All day I carried his seed inside me, my body lit from within.

Not like a Giotto angel.

Stronger than that, more raw.

Like a woodpecker spearing grubs in a lightning-struck pine, knocking echoes through the woods.

Our minds attuned to sounds alone.

To quickening breaths.

One likeness leading to another.

A vodka flask in a glove box drained to the dregs.

A face in the mirror looking like a preacher who will leave his congregation.

As the hours grow heavier, more fragrant, the mercury rising up to seventy.

All those years, desiring and resisting, resisting and desiring, he says!

What world are we even waking in?

A cardinal flits by in a blaze of color looking for his mate.

The welcome crash.

Song by song, bird by bird, soon to be buried under the sky’s open vault.


My body is not
Afghanistan so perhaps

it’s time you pull out.

To Autumn

Harder to enjoy
the foliage this fall
when we hear reports
of folks scavenging
leaves off trees
to cook for dinner
in Eastern Aleppo
where the bakers
are cutting bags
of flour with bits
of dried spaghetti
ground up in order
to make a few extra
loaves that will sell
for $2.50 each
when the average
monthly salary now
for the families
that remain is less
than thirty dollars
and we wonder if
there’s still something
we can do about it
in a republic where
elected officials
can’t even correctly
name the country
this bombarded city
resides in, can’t name
a single relief agency
we could donate to
if asked, the leaves
falling into Central
Park’s Great Lawn
holding us spellbound
even more than ruins
scattered throughout
the Met’s Greek Wing—
damaged marble
whose colors time
has stripped away.

Let It Ride is published by Saturnalia Books. You can check it out here:


in Bearsville, NY

Here is a link to Timothy Liu’s website. Check it out:


Timothy Liu

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