Bluejay's rejoinder

So Henry & Bluejay have been sitting there throughout this chapter, Bluejay mostly listening to Henry chatter about Paradise, Berkeley, LaFarge.  Bluejay starts by responding to H's original statement - that he's looking for his lost cat.

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.


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