Forbidden Entries

John Yau, Author Black Sparrow Press $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-57423-016-1
The latest collection from poet, short-story writer and art critic Yau is heavily weighted to prose poems dense with description and extensive linguistic flexing. Trading narrative line for phantasmagoria, the prose poems fail when Yau's ideas are buried under ostentatious phrases, stretched usage and layered images. Only occasionally are we given a grounding, reassuring glimpse of the speaker: ""Didn't I used to/ look in the mirror each morning?"" While one of Yau's strengths is his humor (""For the first time the woman notices him and says: You little punctured zygote""), lightness of touch is lost in compressed, overpacked paragraphs and an eclectic swirl of image and association in the prose poems. Best here are the verse poems, syntactically spare and livened by verbal puns, including one in which he plays Scrabble with the words ""Mona Lisa"": ""Maison Al/ Oils Amna/ No Salami/ Ails Noma."" The deceptively breezy stanzas of the Gengis Chan series evoke stories through assonance and slant rhymes: ""Makes fist/ first steps."" Reflecting Yau's structural range from couplets to dense paragraphs, the poems vary in tone from playful enigma to seemingly idle blathering. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.