Literature 10-25-2006

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Haley Lasche

Haley Lasche is the final poet in this round of the series "What Light: This Week's Poem," a feature sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers that brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet. The new round of poems begins soon!

Haley Lasche


If two-thirds of the day is night, do I spend my life dreaming?

          In darkness my actions are slow and light.

You point to where my head should be    earth    pillow

your finger thrusting in the crater.


You say

          Come     here

A dog is burying drift wood

sand hits sand. (Glass)Marbles on parquet. He hears sand;

he aims for China.

         Come here

Force and emotion press your voice.

The dog is alone in his dream reaching into the beach for more.

It is sad, you

trying to be right.

I read Simone de Beauvoir     I’m doing it wrong.

wish I remembered more from college.    I read my travel diary

It doesn’t make sense anymore; I sit with a French dictionary

trying to get my life.

          You don’t need to understand everything

You say

          Don’t you remember about bliss?

Here is what I know:

         If energy and mass are the same and I am seventy percent water

                  my life is fluid motion.

                  I am blood and tears.

                  I am the tide.

                  I am the air that rushes over the tide

                                                                                 onto the shore.

You are the earth and are not connected to ether

except to live inside of us

                  the structure of two bodies alone in the night sky.

And sometimes you are a virus molecule

following a predictable path.

I do not touch you. I wash my hands in the sea

the sound of my breath seaspray rising higher with evening tide

follows the moon with no thought as to why.

The moon is in syzygy with you

and the sun. I sit on the moon   am weary

                                                                                  not ready for sleep.

There is so much still I have not dreamed.


One week, I was reading The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Thomas Kuhn), Second Sex (Simone de Beauvoir), and Quipu (Arthur Sze), and as poets sometimes tend to do, I was thinking about the world and my life in the world. I came across this poem by Sze called “Syzygy” and thought that it was quite possibly the best word I’d ever heard. I was inspired by Sze and wanted to honor him in that inspiration. It seemed really appropriate that I was reading three books so powerfully connected to the changing world, to interactions, and to scientific breakthrough…and as syzygy works, I wanted to align the threes. The word ‘blueshift’ is a physics term for the color created by the speed of a luminous object coming toward you. Something in the movement and speed of these three works, and of how I was viewing my life, felt visual and trackable. So I started writing “Blueshift.”


Haley Lasché is a graduate student at Hamline University and a founding member of West Egg Literati. She has been on the steering committees of two college-based literary magazines and has worked on Water~Stone Review as a student editor. She writes primarily poetry and criticism. In addition to her literary career, she is a college instructor, a professional post-modern dancer, and a punk rock fashion model.

Haley Lasche

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