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
This book review originally appeared in American Poets.