Henriksen opens Ordinary Sun by insisting that “an eye is not enough.” Resisting solipsism, these poems negotiate that conflict between the mind and what exists outside the mind. Though pain intrinsically resides in that conflict Henriksen strives for an honest happiness, a kind of gorgeous suffering that blesses our days. To this end, these poems emerge from images of all those innumerable things that embody both visceral and ethereal beauty—rocks, trees, broken glass, baseball, angels… Here we find immediacy immersed in the image, and in the reading of these poems becomes ourselves immersed in the immediate.
NEW SPARROW, NEW SORROW
Moon burnt up in a tree limb’s wobble.
Heaven’s sort of nimble.
Not to want the origin of light, to want its myth.
To want the stroke across the jaw without the fist.
Walked among unplotted ways.
Made maps to joy. Waited near birds.
Liked haloed fury made of things.
Foraged through the brain, begot a bird.
Her throat nestled in a lion’s jaw,
her heart the throb about.
Say stars, said the image,
then climbed into a blink
splayed amid the eyelids
and places eyelids made.