Poems and Texts

From “Time of Tyranny” by Lyn Hejinian

From “Time of Tyranny”

I’m not too old to dance meadowlarks: great punctuation
locks in black and blocks, crepuscular and vain the sun
in its descent. “You kicked up dust”
of which the Ural mountains are but dim reminders
through a wooded alley loud as if disturbed
in the unbuttoned fog that grays a pedestrian’s silhouette
while the passport picture reaching out to me is true or false
to tetrahedral nation-states dead in winter water, enzyme ice.
I cannot fear to be forgotten
a child born another book the dust at dusk
of skilled blind sculptors whose cities sink
the swollen toad, her pride
flamingoes, lilies, and boy flowers
the center of a blue-black vault, an apron, history on it.

Lyn Hejinian

Lyn Hejinian is a poet, essayist, teacher, and translator. Her most recent book is The Unfollowing (Omnidawn Books, 2016). Belladonna will bring out her prose work, Positions of the Sun, in 2017. Other volumes include The Book of a Thousand Eyes (Omnidawn Books, 2012) and The Wide Road, written in collaboration with Carla Harryman (Belladonna, 2010). In fall 2013 Wesleyan republished her best-known book, My Life, in an edition that includes her related work, My Life in the Nineties. Wesleyan is also the publisher of A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field 1982-1998, and the related Poetics Journal Digital Archive, both co-edited by Hejinian and Barrett Watten. She is currently the co-director (with Travis Ortiz) of Atelos, a literary project commissioning and publishing cross-genre work by poets, and the co-editor (with Jane Gregory and Claire Marie Stancek) of Nion Editions, a chapbook press. She teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and is part of the UC Berkeley Humanities Activism coalition, formed immediately after November 8, 2016.

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