Tuesday, May 20, 2008

seeing with 1,000 eyes

"Discord when it's true has the conspiracy pinned." It surely does.

That's my favorite line in Lyn Hejinian's sequence called The Little Book of a Thousand Eyes. The chapbook itself is rare. It was published in Boulder by Smoke-Proof Press in 1996. The typescript of the book, presumably a draft, is already in her archive of papers at UCSD (here's the register for that growing collection). If you go to Amazon you'll find it "currently unavailable." Lyn herself has just one copy. And the Thousand Eyes poems haven't been collected elsewhere, although probably some of them were published individually in various places.

But in 2005, when Lyn Hejinian last read at the Writers House here, she read 19 of the little "eyes" from this work. Fantastic stuff. My favorite at the moment is a piece full of grammatical switches and misplacements, the first line of which is "Here in a sudden of this to Caesar." The line quoted at the top of this entry is from it. Click here and listen to the 41-second recording of this poem.