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About this Poem 

"This poem is one of a series, all of them elegiac in intention, and subject to the strange forces of mourning that let loose illogical developments, into impossible configurations of thought. The poem is built of non-sequiturs, because that’s what’s left in the wake of the death. We cannot follow the dead, whether they are persons or ideas. Instead we remain, but in a situation that, in their absence, makes no sense."
—Lyn Hejinian

Unfollowed Figment

Lyn Hejinian, 1941

Useless lighthouse, and the bucket on the beach, the tattered begonias
Forget examples—there’s not an entity or detail around that isn’t more than a mere example
What’s truly funny?
Once upon a time there was a mouse, and there was a cactus and a pair of very small rubber
   boots with a hole in the sole of the left one, and now that I think back I remember that there
   was a baby on a barge in a lake full of flowers, and out of these there’s a story to weave
   and probably more than one
The music changes at the mantel, the bassoonist is baffled, the synchronizer fails
Rickety marble, wet wood, the road narrowing into the distance and then turning around a rock
Is it empty good writing, is it research, resurgence, repartee?
8, 9, 10, 11, minus 31, 8
A stranger creates an occasion
Lewd silver sea, your bigness carries barges as noon stands in grass
See, I got cops—or they got me; so says the melancholy memoirist from the anarchy of her
   dreams
Clear is the sojourn
In the stiff air, down the unbalanced wind, over dusty culverts, women bear their hot cells of
   benevolence
Are all wonders small?

Copyright © 2013 by Lyn Hejinian. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on June 3, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Lyn Hejinian. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on June 3, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Lyn Hejinian

Lyn Hejinian

Lyn Hejinian was born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1941.

by this poet

poem
The manner in which we are present at this time to and fro
    appears, we come to point of view before us
The matter is here
Can we share its kind of existence?
"I" moving about unrolled barking at blue clouds
    devoted—to each other? to hasten to the point?
    to evade anxiety? to picture?
Having awkward
poem
A dream, still clinging like light to the dark, rounding
The gap left by things which have already happened
Leaving nothing in their place, may have nothing to do
But that. Dreams are like ghosts achieving ghosts' perennial goal
Of revoking the sensation of repose. It's terrible
To think we write these things
poem
I love says the acrobat
To read rarely passing
Even torn scraps on the street without stopping
To see what they have 
To say I'm late
Or your car is 
Blocking my driveway
If you don't move it
NOW I'll call
And have it towed, Jim
I'm sorry, I didn't mean what I said, I just thought
I did, we don't have, I need to