Professor Lyn Hejinian publishes book of poetry

Professor Lyn Hejinian released her book of poetry, The Unfollowing, in early April 2016; the work is intended as a set of elegies, both personal and political.  The work flirts with structure and logic; all 77 of the book’s poems are fourteen lines each, evoking the sonnet – a comparison that Hejinian states, “wouldn’t be inaccurate-or it would be entirely so.”  The logic of the sonnet, however, does not follow in this work. Instead, each page greets the reader with series of non-sequiturs, to which there are no satisfying conclusions.  The work is premised on these two themes: the refusal to comply and logical instability, which in turn perform Professor Hejinian’s sense of death’s “unacceptability.”

Below are three poems from The Unfollowing. The book is available through Omnidawn Press, as well as Amazon.

Late at night the insects sing it
Stories do not float
Should maples shade the growing grass, some will pause and some will pass
The killer has left a footprint on the windowsill to make everyone think he's departed
Once I went to India, in search of grand seduction, next I went to Manchester,
     with spinners, for production
Perhaps leaves fire
Is it prevented
Each elegy continues
The tree is exactly itself in its accidents
Night on our faces (for we have many) hides from us (there are many of us) our
     fates (we have many of those too)
A viola yields but could she handle it or did she hide it
The world says get out with definition
It did it did it did it
Turning everywhere in unkempt directions we must make now a new beginning
You hike in your chair, you swim in your bed, you speed up the Volga in a boot
This is not in the language of the hour of eclipse of an onion of holes
O thorns of the black bougainvillea, fronds of the purple palm, you have thrust
     your shadows into the garden of my friend
I saw a whole field of battle on a pole, in a peapod, at the bottom of a graveyard pit
Rasputin had voltage, Pushkin had swords, and history is a suitcase filled with
     money--to unlock it you need a stiff dead fish
There were once small men as clever as mice, as cruel as ice, and they ruled over
     numbers on the faces of clocks
"Voyage in place: that is the name of all intensities"
Cat's code at gift's edge
An old year falls off a horse backward into a cart--such is the name of one
     unlocked constellation
A whole backdrop disappears to a silenced body
The logic of metaphor passes through a zero and points invisibly over an edge
In the resonant room around a chlorinated pool a mesmerist cures agricultural drunks
It will take much more than a mighty hedge to stop a wren
How brave a sun is that
In memory of Alexei Parshchikov
Listen up
Feelings of panic, preference for red meat or leafy greens, longing for nocturnal
     silence and dark--now ind out just how human all that is
If a person dreams of one goldfish it means that he or she will have holes in his
     or her socks by the end of the following day, if he or she dreams of many
     goldfish it means nothing
I will now pursue a corpuscular trajectory, up and around and down and up
But let the fiddle scream / And be ye happy
Spinoza says we have a "monstrous lust of each to crush the other"
Pilage, pilfer, weep, digress
You may blame malaise on the weather, but be sure it's your own malaise
There's a logic of shipping, a logic of sails, and a churn-gaited, flat-footed logic
     of travel
I know what I do and this is it--well, I think so--I won't ask if I'm doing it here
You can't rehearse memory, you can't rehearse the future
Hand in the air--wing to dirt: wing wins
Carlotta Priscilla Jones scissor smoke, Megan Mary Lamartine boots salad, Lisa
     Leslie Lily Black canoes laughs, and--as a bonvine crow--Lyn Hejinian lows
The earth's surface is made