Aug 22, 2011

excerpt from "The Beginner"

by Lyn Hejinian

This is a good place to begin.
From something.
Something beginning in an event that beginning overrides.
Doubt instruction light safety fathom blind.
In the doorway is the beginning thus and thus no denial.
A little beat of time, a little happiness quite distinct from misery as yet.
The sun shines.
The sun is perceived as a bear, then a boat, then an instruction: see.
The sun is a lily, then a whirlpool turning a crowd.
The shadows lengthen, the sun-drenched line of arriving strangers are all admitted, seen in the day and not the same at night, host and guest alike.
Two things then, both occurring as the beginner arrives: acceptance and the reconstruction of the world which that acceptance implies.
In the first twenty-four hours nearly blind and with hands swelling, the gaze fierce, face scowling, the beginner faces scowling.
The beginner is a figure of contradiction, conditions what has begun.
Someone could say clouds suddenly, correctly, there's a change in the low-lying blue, the space for it having diminished, its limits are almost certainly black.
Yes, black is right, it's for certainty, yellow for cattle, brown for the violin, pink is fortuitous except in flowers especially the rose, rose is for the rose, gray for clocks and the time they keep, orange for lips or for cups, also sponges, their accompanying sentiment, gold for blue and iconography and geographical distance, red is for the forest and for the alphabet, blue is for intelligence, purple for the old neighbors smelling of wool, green is for sweat, and out of white comes what we can say.

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