The ghostly fella has his own philosopher up his sleeve - Charles Peirce, father of "semiotics", the "pragmaticist".
Bluejay shows Henry his archaic American icon : the mysterious "eye-in-hand" - begins to disintegrate Henry's defenses, preconceptions. This bit concludes the 3rd chapter (Once in Paradise).
The shadow of the arsenal, a dusky bottomland
obscured the garden behind Shakespeare's Head;
and Henry squinted toward his neighbor's muscled
forearm. Bluejay showed his palm – an eye-in-hand.
You been talkin up wild, man – talkin a streak,
he said. Meanwhiles I been havin a dream
about your cat, yeah – Pushkin – though he seem
more like a dog! Barkin, barkin, freakin
out like he missed his boat – missed somethin!
Like that UN man – the unman, or the nowoman,
coughin his ways out of a war – a non
Ulysses X. W. Stanley Livingstone
I presume – or somekinda tale with no cat, at all!
Some greenhorn lordy manx I figure – shakin
his asparagus at us – coulda waken
the dead if they was listenin! Hell no
ghetto line on this Onan, by golly Moses!
An lemme tell you, Henry m'boy –
that Barky guy –
he had his day! They's others – better than his!
You aint' never hearda Charlie Peirce?
Why, he got more gold in a bag
than that dawg a'yourn could beg
outa Queen Bess inna thousan year.
Tell you bout it. Peirce, he pull this one
outa his hat on Barky: say, hell,
this world – it ain't no dream – s'all
a lotta wishin walls. Son,
things is real. Bump. Go the rocks in yo head!
But it ain't like we breathe it all in like some dope
ever mornin! He say – nope –
reality is like – comin tomorrow. . . – getta bead
on that one! Like – we gonna know – if we tries –
altogether – sometime in the future, man.
Reality, man – it ain't even here yet! Stan?
It's a goal, not a given, okay? So then he says –
now dig this – okay: reality is like outside our minds.
We move to the flow, man – we don't make it up
in the gray matter, you know? But hup –
listen here now: reality – is like a thought. . . like signs. . .
like – it means, every which way! You dig?
Is like a deep, steep path, man, up a mountain.
So like okay Peirce he give Barky his ten
pointer but he take a thousand for his rig,
man! See what I'm sayin? You got yo Providence,
yo Almighty cunning shrewd helluva inviz whiz,
maybe – but Peirce he don't insist – he's
a scientist, dig? – he prove his common sense!
So he say – comin with the future, we gonna get it.
So like, I say – okay then: you got this
missin-leg cat o'yourn – a little black cat – hiss!
Gone found his own private ghetto – hit
by a ark or somethin. Lil feline exile
offa some exit ramp, I reckon – freeway
4-leaf clover outa Q name Sue-Dan, maybe!
Could'n even X his own name, chile –
Stuck in some goof caddy's X-by-J cubit's
road canoe, no doubt, with his leg chewed off,
po fella. Cross that highway line – that's tough
onna critter! Angels, them angles sits
heavy onna body, I tell you! An how many
uncountable black coons bowlin down off-color
in that diabolical umbilical black whole, huh?
Woman, you can spin that greeny
clover roun an roun your head until you dizzy –
but it's like the ship gone down, nobodaddy home no more –
you see them dark backside timewarp ripples flow
downriver in some kinda jazzy
puddleclub stroke – an it gone!
You just watch them spirals fade – spread
thin down the manmade marmalade
canal – an it ain't comin back, hon!
Listened. Mississippi tattoo, warbling in the dusk.
He didn't understand, but he saw – the delicate
figurehead – the cedars, massed there – intricate, in-
explicable! And felt the wind blow. . . and a voice
husk, murmuring his name. And suddenly
the pendant trees back of Shakespeare's Head
were a woman's hair. And the voice said:
come to me, Henry. Come back to me.