Ring Burial, 34

Lyn Hejinian - 1941-

               Anti-determinative, interminable, incomplete—the poem has nothing to do with truth or value. 
               This poem, for example, is philosophical, in that it doesn't seek things to believe but things not to believe. 
               Every sentence records a stretch of becoming invented as it goes.
               It's decontextualization, rather than discontinuation, that time effects.
               Both time and decontextualization may generate obscurity but so too might structure, otherness, and particularity even more than entropy. 

More by Lyn Hejinian

The Book of a Thousand Eyes [To achieve reality]

To achieve reality (where objects thrive on people's passions), enormous effort
and continuous social interactions are required, and I can't get started
without you. Not here—over there's a better place to begin a funny story.
History with its dead all shot through with regularities in the woods
and following what looks like a cow-path
is part of a creature's sexual magic. Its recorded words
now are just a small memento meant to trigger memories
which will give us energy when the right time comes.
Every afternoon high in a tree
the forest vagabond naps while time hangs
like a swarm of midges, trembling on. It might be female
but it has a phallus's tendency to jump up. How lonely it is
to think that I can only think what I think even while he is thinking—our
          thinking
just our respective working body's hum. And while the warlords of Mycenae
          were storming
Troy the foundations of their own societies were crumbling, too.

The Book of a Thousand Eyes [A dream, still clinging like light to the dark, rounding]

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 for them, to tell them
Of our life—that is, our whole life. Along comes a dream
Of a machine. Why? What is being sold there? How is the product
emitted?
It must have been sparked by a noise, the way the very word "spark"
emits a brief picture. Is it original? Inevitable?
We seem to sleep so as to draw the picture
Of events that have already happened so we can picture
Them. A dream for example of a procession to an execution site.
How many strangers could circle the space while speaking of nostalgia
And of wolves in the hills? We find them
Thinking of nothing instead—there's no one to impersonate, nothing
To foresee. It's logical that prophesies would be emitted
Through the gaps left by previous things, or by the dead
Refusing conversation and contemplating beauty instead.
But isn’t that the problem with beauty—that it's apt in retrospect
To seem preordained? The dawn birds are trilling
A new day—it has the psychical quality of "pastness"  and they are trailing
It. The day breaks in an imperfectly continuous course
Of life. Sleep is immediate and memory nothing.