Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


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.

Credit


From The Book of a Thousand Eyes by Lyn Hejinian, published by Omnidawn. Copyright © 2012 by Lyn Hejinian. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Author


Lyn Hejinian

Lyn Hejinian was born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1941. Poet, essayist, and translator, she is also the author and coauthor of several books of poetry, most recently Tribunal (Omnidawn Publishing, 2019). She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2006-2012. She teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in Berkeley, California.

Date Published: 2012-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/book-thousand-eyes-achieve-reality