Tribunal

Lyn Hejinian. Omnidawn, $17.95 (88p) ISBN 978-1-63243-066-3
“I am a human in the absence of others of a yet better red,” begins the latest from Hejinian (The Book of a Thousand Eyes). Organized as a three-part trial, the book articulates a timely political consciousness: one of war, fascism, and a “not necessarily melancholy deactivation of will.” “A Human of Mars” follows a protagonist on a colonized Red Planet, weaving in the mythos of the Greek god of war in short, lyrical paragraphs: “Humans are myths, at war with one another”; “Pigs burrow, asphalt chokes, buildings arrogantly rise and crush./ That’s what I am.” “Time of Tyranny” moves readers to the present in a sonnet series throbbing with humanity (“we force to act, we force to micturate, we force to gadgetize instantiate, frame, monetize, grade”), in which weapons meet echoes of past political events. “Ring Burial” posits “a work of art [as] a prophetic loan, drawn on fugitive premises,” attempting to peer, though writing, into “The deep tomorrow.” Throughout the book, Hejinian poses a crucial question of art and herself: “Do I only simulate dissent,” she asks, ending the question with a period. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/13/2019
Release date: 04/01/2019
Genre: Poetry
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