David Lau holds degrees from UCLA and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Graduate Merit Fellow. He has also received an artist grant from the Iowa Arts Council. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in VOLT, Denver Quarterly, Pool, New Orleans Review, Wildlife, and Vis-à-vis. His first collection of poems, Virgil and the Mountain Cat, has been a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and for UC Press’s New California Poetry Series. Currently he is visiting creative writing faculty in poetry at UC Santa Cruz. He lives in Santa Cruz, CA, where he goes surfing, plays music with his friend Aaron, and teaches English and Film courses at Cabrillo College.


Three Poems by David Lau


Fugue: torn clothes
man horizontal the oxcart
at the edgy, mud-rocky field.
They tape a gained grain again
with earthy comet trails
across severed red parking lights
in the darkened tree is
a lipped asthmatic passageway unction

—but I have a wanted mission
to the shrapnel snow garden.
Between each leafy what
happened, a swarm sacrificed
to the goat, starved and rioting in a child,
as revolt, the last gnomic moment,
was felt to have come absent
and it the stung

how they clamor to bet eyelashes
and Depot, the second helping
an alternate sea bottom
in a body of eyes.

Man the balcony, the sun is less itself
We can’t not act in the hammered air
The neighborhood may have cause
Man, the balcony is the sun.”


A man peels back the arm:

a volcano of fabrics in a geyser of phrase
is haunting my bare
specter of a dimension;

like an aqua, dewy vale,
sauced, I gull a puzzler
with seasonings and the scant blubbering of a coconut oboe;

it was, or was but wasn’t yet,
me and then the math hummer;

a picture himself surge
through the waters dense with Februaries,

almond cargo under knits of a try.

The Tupperware concerto

The Tupperware concerto           
the domed 18th century           pre-enrolls in...
it doesn’t, it isn’t           the same none are
of of’s alcoholic, Twomblyan           nightlong song-scape—
we weakens us inside           another orchard,
we, a horde around the gin           stall at the exhibit
of the pastness of the past,           
         samplers of winter’s trout mintage
smoking our no’s—            
I gives up the storm y-flash           bicycling my antipode,
revised to death           newly Hungarian
it produces           produce
Even my titties            have itty-bitty titties
                  The antique ode de me is Walt Whitman a complete form/