The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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False Starts: Lyn Hejinian, Nick Hoff and Julian Talamantez Brolaski

Readings start promptly at 7:30pm
$8 General Admission (no one turned away for lack of funds) / Free for Members of The Lab
Reserve Seats Here

Lyn Hejinian

           from The Unfollowing

All that the girl thought irrelevant was never to become relevant to her
At the far left in the upper corner we can see the “Blessed Islands,” at the bottom to
           the right it says “The End”
I am horrified, he has been shot, I see the blood on his hands and head, but now I see
           that the victim isn’t who I thought it was, he has turned to beseech me but it’s
           just some blond stranger—I don’t care a bit about him and walk away
Time’s retraction brings the failure of action
Elbow, richness, auburn, critic, water rising through the plumbing system
Anomalies cannot provide
No dummies, they were experiencing, then experience ceased
A scream from within a circle of chairs, an ascending of stairs, and then the scream’s
           cancellation—all accomplished without any screaming
A sphinx, a grid, and a cyclist in red
It was a warm day, March 8, the co-ed had sweat on her lip, a foretaste of spring
Knowledge is lost in redundant unexpectedness
A field, a flash of emergence, the present, new ideals
A moan
An elf with so many toes on her feet, bam bam, that she couldn’t wear boots, dam dam,
           stepped into hot coals, ram ram

Nick Hoff

An eye sees stone or water
the sky color, trees
the mineral fact
Or another eye,
which is of
another creature.
Even the black eye
of a bird
sees this
         and is seen.

Julian Talamantez Brolaski

who is not your cousin?

bears may be brutal
but they never did n/t
to bruise up the earth
& englyssh is so filled
w/ periphrasis
metal band seeks bassist
in which one searches
amerikka backward
I pay money for money
who holds up thir
coffee by way of
hailing a taxi
for pigeon read rock dove
jobs that fell thru
say goodbye to the grouper forever
who therwithal
—palm and pine—
r so thoroly discomfitted

Lyn Hejinian is a poet, translator, editor, and currently serves as the John F. Hotchkis Professor of English at UC Berkeley. Her academic work is addressed principally to modernist, postmodern, and contemporary poetry and poetics, with a particular interest in avant-garde movements and the social practices they entail. Throughout her career as a writer and critic, she has been associated with the founding and development of Language writing in the U.S. and its affiliations abroad. Her most recent book of poetry is The Unfollowing, just published by Omnidawn. A prose work titled The Positions of the Sun is forthcoming, and she is currently working on a volume of critical essays.

Hejinian is the co-director (with Travis Ortiz) of Atelos, a literary project commissioning and publishing cross-genre work by poets, the co-editor (with Jane Gregory and Claire Marie Stancek) of Nion Editions, devoted to the publication of chapbooks and uncategorizable literary objects, and the co-editor (with Christopher Patrick Miller) of FLOOR, an online journal of aesthetic theory and the practice of everyday life (


Nick Hoff is a poet, translator, and bookseller. His first book of poetry, Some Ones, was published by Tuumba press in 2015. Michael Donhauser’s Of Things,  translated in collaboration with Andrew Joron, was published by Burning Deck in 2015, and Odes and Elegies, translations of Friedrich Hölderlin’s poetry, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2008. Hoff lives and works in San Francisco.


Julian Talamantez Brolaski is the author of Advice for Lovers (City Lights 2012), gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011), and co-editor of NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards (Litmus Press / Belladonna Books 2009).  Julian lives in Oakland and is the lead singer and rhythm guitar player in the country band The Western Skyline ( 

False starts is curated by Steven Seidenberg (