Poetry in Motion


Rumors (an excerpt)

John Yau
A black poster features an excerpt from the poem Rumors by John Yau. To the right of the poem is a white and purple face.

Some rivers remain questions, shifting
from side to side. Other questions
remain rivers, thick and muddy.
One bridge is a moth-eaten highway.
Another is a rhinestone bridge.

An architect wants to build a house
rivaling the mountains surrounding
his sleep, each turret mute as a hat.
He crosses a river to reach ground
hard enough to begin his plan. He crosses
a river the way a river crosses his sleep,
swirling with questions.

"Rumors" (excerpt) from Corpse and Mirror by John Yau. Copyright © 1983 by John Yau. Reprinted with the permission of Henry Holt and Company. Originally appeared in Broken Off by the Music (Burning Deck, 1981).