Lyn Hejinian’s Book of a Thousand Eyes 



1 Can you have your sleep and sleep it too

          Dawn brings all speculation to an end (333),

the more you write the later it becomes the farther from the dream 

          I reach the beach and the word for it is plague
         The sea can speak but its speech is cut off before it can begin
(61)

nor do I ever finish my dream

         Below the hill are muscled roofs
         and red tins in which nesting birds perch


         but let me tell you something—
         nobody’s putting conclusions around my life
(152)

but you can’t be asleep all the time: you could write the dream but you probably couldn’t read it

sometimes I can remember sometimes not very well but

because they are awake, how hard they work on the street below each morning to produce the things they say, the words—is that what you are saying?

still, usually I enjoy being awake early, especially in the summertime

        Where now is Cynthia/Melissa? The landscape is green, rock-strewn, forested,
        mountainous. The sky is blue, the sun is pleasant. It’s beautiful. This is Campe
        Proviso
.(189) 

2 But there is no way to correct a dream (87)

but now the notes I wrote are hard for me to read: is that a proper noun?

your nonsense is more private than / my nonsense is more private than yours

the dream sets every word afloat


         Think of the way the boat sinks into the obsidian pock like a lemon in ink
         Imagine the dark dipper
(226) 

—or in motion

         of art’s deceitfulness: the breeze!
         But it could just as easily have been the bees!
(169) 

3 But then sometimes she was only pretending to be asleep

         Rain falls, releasing pleasure incommensurable with our fucked up structures
         of thought (71)

what gender am I if I’m asleep?


is waking up beside the dreamer (yourself) like waking up beside
              a. a man           b. a woman          c. a sentence? 


         ... the tree too is interesting in this survey of grasses and industrious bugs
         The daily survives its compelling collapse in the wild moonlight
         It creates its wild collapse in the compelling daylight
(92)

         the edge turned towards the wind is sharp (94) 

(preferring willed indecision and the curtain blowing in to having dreamt about being
picked up at the airport by my mother and driven somewhere neither of us wanted to go
a neon bluebird on a sign waiting out the rain beneath overhangings of the strip mall’s
“terraces,” I mean I’d rather neither be asleep nor wake up after having slept and that’s
ok, that’s a “productive space”—) 


4 Everyone learns from stories, though not everyone learns the same things (258)

sleep is forgetting in the middle of it
 
is a story told by whom to whom


           We live not to master the world but to be a part of it....              Rationally
           art addresses the irrational which it deems ethically superior to the administered
           world's (and its administering agents') rationality (dominance over nature),
           which is itself irrational and absurd. I am forging a fragile continuum, one
           tenuous juxtaposition at a time. I am recording a single sharp utterance by
           a large rough-coated gray dog. I am afraid I'll fall off the roof; the drop on
           one side is precipitous and long, the drop on the other even longer. (279) 




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