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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
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
poem
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
poem

The Lost Pines Inn would be a good name for a motel, or No Sheep in the Meadow, The Lost Egos, The Downtown Country Inn, Mike and Ann's, Doug and Diane's, Bob and Joe's or Just Joe's Hotel, Warm Toes Hotel, Anything Goes Inn, The Come Inn, The Company Retreat, The Hermit's Den, La Cave, The Little House Hotel, The