John Yau

John Yau2

THE DETECTIVE’S LOVE LETTER

 

I was the detective in the book no one put down
That summer, in the red hills above Manhattan
You were different, even when you crinkled your nose
No brush could ever lift your face into view

That summer, in the red hills above Manhattan,
Where trees lay scattered, like angels shot down from the sky
No brush could ever lift your face into view
The attraction you exerted upon me was uncanny

Where trees lay scattered, like angels shot down from the sky
A light bulb shut off in mid-sentence
The attraction you exerted upon me was uncanny
We watched dolls gather to divide the spoils of war

A light bulb shut off in mid-sentence
Mr. Muddlehead counts his money in the dark
We watched dolls gather to divide the spoils of war
I dream that we stayed in a pensione in Pittsburgh

Mr. Muddlehead counts his money in the dark.
You grew rosier, while everyone else got nosier
I dream that we stayed in a pensione in Pittsburgh
It wasn’t much, but it was something

You grew rosier, while everyone else got nosier
Nobody removed the excrement collecting around his or her thoughts
It wasn’t much, but it was something
The sky offered a different testimony

Nobody removed the excrement collecting around his or her thoughts
I was the detective in the book no one put down
The sky offered a different testimony
You were different, even when you crinkled your nose

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JOHN YAU has published more than two-dozen books of poetry, fiction, and criticism. Recent publications include Further Adventures in Monochrome (2012), Nicholas Krushenick: A Survey (2011), and A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns (2009). In 1999, he started Black Square Editions, a small press devoted to poetry, fiction, essays, and translation. The recipient of fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Ingram-Merrill Foundation, New York Foundation of the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, he teaches in the Visual Arts program at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University). He was the arts editor for the The Brooklyn Rail (2006 -2011), but left to start the online magazine Hyperallergic Weekend with three other writers. He and his family live in New York.

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Read more by John Yau:

Three poems in Mascara Literary Review
Poem at Connotation Press

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