back toJacket2

The Internet address of this page is


Jack Collom and Lyn Hejinian
Situations, Sings
(a series of collaborative poems)
reviewed by Robert Grenier
Adventures in Poetry: New York, 2008.

This review is about 2 printed pages long. It is copyright © Robert Grenier and Jacket magazine 2008.See our [»»] Copyright notice.

Note on Situations, Sings

It has an engaging made-up/not-made-up quality which is too ‘programatic’ to be true, but that’s just the . . . ‘style of the period’, inhabited (momentarily) “for the fun of it” and in gratitude for (friendship’s sake) . . . opportunity to be . . . adventurous in ‘mid-life’/seeming ‘not-alone’ ?

There’s a zest, a willingness to ‘play games’ wch ‘stumbles upon the profound’ occasionally, but fortunately (‘modestly’) quickly returns (to ‘the real world’?) to anticipation of having some fun at some future point sometime during this (‘extended’)(‘Day’ of this) positively ‘communal’ writing !

book cover

A Joint Labor by/of ‘The Two Of Them’ — & a GOOD EXAMPLE (of ‘Society’, w/ imaginative/’moral’ human beings surviving (?) by communicating & honoring each other’s needs/words)(before formulating single-handedly a disgusting/dumb/back-firing/’counter-productive’/aggressive/’non-communicative’ foreign policy) for us All (however absurd this may seem!) of (for Everybody nowadays!) a more imaginative & ‘moral’/language-capable human being !

This endeavor (‘SAVING THE EARTH’!) may require ‘more’ than ‘either individual’ can bring to it . . . by writing collaborative poems.

Why not (Wryly/Wiley)(wryly/wily), truly, ‘fiddle while Rome
’ . . . ? ?

                                 — Robert Grenier

                                   Bolinas, CA
                                   September 3, 2008

Publisher’s note: «Situations, Sings» is a collection of twelve formally distinct poems collaboratively written by Jack Collom and Lyn Hejinian. The two poets began working together in 1992, and over the years they have developed a repertoire of forms and procedures, all intended to extend the possibilities for invention, play, and the unfolding of unforeseeable meaning. Both poets embrace collaborative authorship as a means of challenging aesthetic preconceptions. In the process, they frequently venture across thematic limits, discovering unexpected coherences. The poems often give themselves over to pleasure, but they are governed by the logic of poetic language and they carry considerable metaphysical depth.

Jack Collom is the author of seventeen small-press books of poetry, including Red Car Goes By (Tuumba Press, 2001) and two CDs. He spent the early 1980s in New York, where he taught poetry to children in the Poets In Public Service and Teachers & Writers programs. In 1980 and again in 1990 he was awarded a fellowship in poetry by the National Endowment for the Arts. Collom lives and teaches in Boulder, Colorado.

Published collections of Lyn Hejinian's writing include Writing Is an Aid to Memory, My Life, and The Language of Inquiry. From 1976 to 1984, Hejinian was the editor of Tuumba Press; she is currently the co-director of Atelos, a literary project commissioning and publishing cross-genre work by poets. In the fall of 2000, she was elected the sixty-sixth fellow of The Academy of American Poets. She teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that all material in Jacket magazine is copyright © Jacket magazine and the individual authors and copyright owners 1997–2010; it is made available here without charge for personal use only, and it may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose.