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2012 Books Noted
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Books Noted
John Yau, Further Adventures in Monochrome

 

Copper Canyon Press, 2012

In this substantial volume, Yau explores identity and personal mythology through various lenses. Perhaps it is telling that in Yau's poem "After Meng Hao-Jan" he writes, "I do not speculate about ceaseless wonders...Occasionally I go out and see if I might / Find another remote and insubstantial form." Indeed, Yau pushes language through many forms and tonal shifts in this collection, including a section that is confessional and domestic, the fascinating serial poem: "Genghis Khan: Private Eye," a section titled "Exhibits" which catalogues aphoristic phrases, and a section on the monochromatic painter, Yves Klein. From "The Missing Portrait (2)"

Where does one go to contemplate a reflection of a reflection
This mirror held up to the sky, and the sky offering its mirror
He dreamed he was becoming a word written in a book
Burning pages rushed to greet him
It is raining outlined in cadmium red

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