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Poem of the day

Six hours to Waking If You Don't Sleep

for Lyn Hejinian (January 1, 2004, 1:03am)


It's no longer possible to gather up all the empty bottles,

the needles, thimbles, money...

nor understand where the light ray lies, where the steel thread

stretching across the road, though undoubtedly

it's at the bus stop diagonally across the way, where the kiosk sours

like the sky.

Like—well, all the rest pertains to the roof of the mouth,

lifting within itself the complex and rather folded-up

material of nonexistence.

A cocoon, darkness, and in stammering—lightning and exile.

The 39th hexagram is nothing like this. It is also not possible

to gather berries, unless I'm wrong,

nor the tossed-aside neckties from wherever they fell.

Nor to write an ode on the rising of dust.

Not to whisper in an ear, “O, how I would have wanted!”

And yet it's possible—yes, absolutely—the possibility

of going out still remains,

without smashing the glass with your forehead, without shredding

the colored papers, tickets to the world's edge,

or empty gauze—its crackling is dry, like the morning's

clocks, devouring crickets.

Like the Tibetan windmills of hope.

These white millstones are gentle, or, rather, restrained,

but immeasurably lacking in water.

The stirring of the wind bring no joy.


-Arkadii Dragomoshchenko

(translated by Lyn Hejinian),

from Endarkenment:  Selected Poems (2014)

 

 

Random Name Poetry Series

(at our very own Penn Book Center)

(Readings are on Saturdays at 2pm)

 

July 19: Dianna Dragonetti and Jacob Russell and Hila Ratzabi

August 2: Mark Johnson and Steve McLaughlin

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