Lyn Hejinian



Six Solarities



The situation calls for a rhyme: gelatin with skeleton
Each wave carries its own paint, sweet pink or rancid chartreuse
End here, fait accompli
The old white woman in the long black skirt pauses at the kitchen sink, struck
            by sudden consciousness
Between frames monsters replicate—each one unattributable
When one glimpses beauty and looks away, then spaces, bare-throated, are
How are mountains like rucksacks or blankets drawn up to a dreamer's chin
We live on a world from which metamorphoses are drawn
Nearest you stands a porous rose among dull begonias, snow shakes on seashells
            under an oncoming train
Some things are like plastic and will last forever, which is long after we have
            stopped singing of experience
Shall I compare the apple's stem to an umbilical cord or a puppy's tail
The invisible issues an invitation cursed with infinite complications
Air now fills the area
More rare than abnormality, more spare than grand formality, is plastic triviality



That March morning spotlight fell, felt, can't field, can't follow
Smaller as some days get, they may be inextricable from the bigger ones
I haven't written the faintest idea
A cut of day, a caught night—we don't need new motives for loving
It is early morning in the late Cretaceous
Sitting just under the swimming west that remains afloat on worthy objects, we…
            or they…or she…or you… or I, alone…
I have true independence of memory
It is as a natural Darwin that the bold painter saturates her curiosity with color
            where a skeptical world would see only earthworms and mud
Are we not the sticky future?
The lights behave negatively and are sent home
It is good to wear shoes stronger than sneakers for crossing and recrossing and
            never getting across the necropolitan dunes
One can begin to remember from anywhere, anything can get remembering
            going, something can get one doubting, nothing is perfectly flat, and
            everything is hidden
Here is porcelain for incredulity, milk for irony, a broom for irreverence, a
            harpsichord for banter and lack of necessity



I want to find the thing, I want it to accumulate, rotate, and not culminate
The egg is milk at rest and an orb under asymmetrical conditions
Perhaps judgment is only for the mind, perhaps the key word is juggler, perhaps
            space is effaced in a mirror
A wry smile sets a horizon
Now everything is ready
I'm not bored, it's more like I'm in a daze, uneasy, but not ill-at-ease, I'm not
            thinking about myself, I'm not thinking about anything, I'm just staring
            into space, pausing, waiting, with a slight sense of approaching
And fake and successful and posthumous and giving me a hand in the kitchen
She hunts / did hunt from turning ears
I once knew a man who kept a small orchestra in a suitcase, and I once knew a
            woman who kept to herself
And with that the kitchen timer rang and I ran to attend to the split pea soup
            in the pot
A cool scroll of antelopes, trapped, not by but in humans
O museum, O masochism, O mammary glands
I am whitewashed under the name of anarchy, protest, community
Have we not great American tusks, have we not African citizenship?



To be a hill a hill is filled
Let's sing a long song without words: "la dee ah" (ascending) and "ah ew"
            (warbling) and "diddle diddle dum" (comically) and "hwoohhh" (in
            a minor key)
The critic has to stay close to her object of interest but she's also got to confess
            her anxiety, her uncertainty, her criminality
Have I not nematodes in my gut, have I not delusions in my brain, have I not
            white blood in my veins
Then the rocks—a perfect mirror
I must make my escape, said the sun
Into the jam jars go the peeled and pitted fruits of the sweetening-gatherer's day,
            into the air go the signs of weightless autumnal decay
The present can't dislodge history, but it is giving us something new to argue
Friendships are extrinsic to the call to action the moment requires
I have been reliving late at night somewhere in grass or a forest
Daylight and pins, she announces; sandwiches and obligations, geometry and
There was a person harmed, says the Argentinean wife
I have an orange cat who is a jaunty predator, he's bargained with the garden
            birds and never been a traitor
The void stays forever weightless



Eternity goes on for such a long time that nothing can happen to disrupt it
Laughter is encrypted grief, but grief is encrypted laughter, too
Hardly noticed, another apple falls into the yellow grass—an event that changes
            the apple, the tree, the orchard, the grass
What's the first thing that comes to mind when someone says the word
            "traveler": gypsy? nomad? salesman or saleswoman? tourist?
            conference-goer? refugee? adventurer? explorer? businessman or
            businesswoman? family member proceeding to an occasion, happy
            or sad?
Now we're going to go figure
In the city of music stands a fountain of pitches
Was it not as heroic at a very young age to have died as at a very old age to have
The sun burns every story to a crisp and leaves only a lisp, or lapse, palsy, panic,
            or a princess pointing at something across another now
Thrown onto the land, set loose on the ground, put precipitously in place,
            a person of modern times will have many modern memories—but not
            just those
Why is there no one instead of someone?
Watch out, you almost let yourself follow!
The sociable book is ample and uninhibited, unashamed of its jolly
            idiosyncrasies, unembarrassed by its infuriated sentimentality—o lucky
            sociable book off the shelf!
Distribute, puzzle, soap a rabbit, link anxieties, follow politics, toe snow
Survival can't wait



I have had responsibility land somewhere and irresponsibility fly like a dark
            eagle after a golden cat
Right again: a spill of M & M's
A grape is a stone for a long turn of a clock or a stone is a grape in a sock
What is love but imagination
Willing butter regent cap nut father, Father
Then the capricious zebra zolted, janglishly, carpet-riding
Did she not yearn, would she not have yearned, couldn't she have yearned—she
            will have yearned but won't yearn
The very grandmothers with stones in their hearts press the lightness of the sound
            of crickets nicking laughter, lacking shadow-casters
In name I am a slipper, strengthened by circular calcium
Heliophiles leap toward the dawn, heliophiles saddle butter
I've no other sentence to speak, to syntax, to serve
Be vigilant, Virgil!
A stricken statistician leaps blue concrete—can we see the numberless trail and
Suns go