john hyland


from Song Notions

To Explain 

Imprisoned in mud-dark sea, the song opens to the green half-light world.  The song opens not as an oyster or a mind but as a morning. Always as morning, unless night-glitter or -gut cause dawn to never break. And song sings, astounded by sound of itself.

What to Trace

What is shattered is (perhaps) not meant to be. Mended is a word for the torn (i.e. old socks, a gash). What is suitable—to be a chair or a table, say —is immutable (perhaps). There are the two landscapes. Then there is the meeting, the third. Not that the eye collides per se, but that someone is always speaking as such. The estuarine eye, the moment . . ., begs no beginning. Yet there are threads. 

Ah Meditation

One word, not so much left or lingering (for mind). Some fervor. No birds. In night's sky there are probably some stars to brood over. Shade again drawn. Or what was not concluded. Not always waiting. But arranged and arranged again: what system there is in all ways one to more than one. At an edge—a meeting, a collision—there is an exchange.

The Haunting

The urgency of birds. And all the other gestures. I don't know what time of day it is. And something else: [          ]. But enough of considered considerations, I would like to explain what is misconstrued as breath. Yes, someday I would like to state clearly the problem. Then, of course, my work would be that much easier. What is realized is endlessly done.

An anecdote: Every night (more or less) for an entire summer I would wake in the middle of the night, and outside the window I would hear a certain birdsong. And, every morning I would ask everyone, whoever was there, whether they slept at the house or not, if they had heard it.

Something Seen When Heard Again

What scuttles? Some rain, some rain heard. A tapping, broken, a rhythm. No rapture. Voices around a corner drown out the rain, momentarily. (The shade is drawn.) There is light I do not sing: bade a weary wave in another rain. The light is such that the rain seems muscular. Each drop is only because of the other drops. Yes, sounds. Something seen when heard again.



A graduate of the English Department at the University of Maine (Orono), john hyland is a lecturer in the English Department at Assumption College and a graduate student in Cultural Production at Brandeis University. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in horse less review, Ambit, and The Modern Review




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