Fogman, Bluejay & Sistah Yoi

Bluejay comes from another place.  He is some kind of obscure spirit of long-ago America.  Yet he's on his own search for "Eurydice", one which parallels that of Orpheo-Henry & his Juliet (examine the early blog-posts for more on this).

Just as Henry snapped back to 19th-cent. & colonial America after their first encounter, so, in the following passage, Bluejay interrupts some boring Henry-recitation to relate a version of an archaic Orpheus/Bluejay tale from the Northwest Coast (Oregon, Washington, Vancouver).  It's like two Orpheus-figures, on opposite sides of a mirror.


. . . some penny-a-day newspaper, man.  Great. 
Sees her ghost, right?  Like super natural, 
straight down some gothamized aisle de wildy, 
all French – and she's blushin, for real!  Wait

I'm not finished – you done lost me again, Henrah
They were retracing their steps, roughly SSW 
toward Roger's original igloo.  I don' follow you. 
(The look over the shoulder made Henry quiver).

There is fog over the Land of the Dead. 
Yoiyoi!– Hen was really shaky now.  Ghosts! 
No, geese.  You should shoot the geese
Bluejay was saying.  Where are we, Dad?

said Henry, nervous.  Just listen up, daddyo,
it's my storytime.  It was very dark now over land 
and sea.  That's what she said to me, understand? 
You should shoot the geese.  Yoi, muh sistah.  Yoi.

They allus lookin up muh skirts, the dogbait!
Like it was some kinda civics lesson an I'm yo model 
to a T, get it?  Drive me crazy, she says.  Hell,
Ike'n fix that, officer!  I says – an shoots her in the butt!

Yoi!  I thought it was a laugh, but then I felt bad. . . 
What I done, what I done.  Won't never be fixed again! 
Big headache, man – goin round an roun 
Yoi, I says – you should marry with the dead.

Dunno what I was sayin – lotta troublen pain. 
Po' gal!  One day, Fog come.  Fog in human shape. 
Hip in the eyes, bull's eye – Yoi's up an
gone.  There is no reason I should remain

here any longer; I am married to you, says Yoi. 
An she gone down the trail with him, cross
five prairies fulla flowers – into them depths
of the earth.  With Fogman.   She juss want to die.

But she leave me a message, man!
Says – when you comes to see me, all cuesquared 
a th'dark – you gotta fill fivesquare buckets 
fulla water.  Cause them prairies – they burn!

So I resolves to go – but then – I can't find the trail! 
Til one day, Fogman hisself shows up – says, 
c'mon, joker – you wanna see yo sistah – she's
wi' me.  I grabs my buckets an follows – hell,

man, it was hot! Ever one of them prairies was 
on fire!  Flowers – flowin with flowers – blazin! 
I puts out one fire – I puts out another – then 
Fogman says – you gotta close your eyes.

Cause you a livin man. An you comin among the dead. 
Woooooo, I was gettin the shakes then, boy!
But I ain't seen nothin yet. Hoy de hoy – now
I hears this sound – ko ko ko. Ko ko ko. Ko ko ko. Said,

Fogman, what that?  Open your eyes now, man.
I opens–an down this riverbank – big, muddy –
what I see?  Skulls, man – rollin down at me! 
Callin, ko ko ko, ko ko ko. .. Yikes! – so then

Fogman says, c'mon up to my home.
We gonna say hello to Yoi.  The skulls they follow us, 
rollin along like a herda tumbleweed cactus,
or somethin. I tries to ignore em.

Now Henry, man, I'm tellin all this straight.
I could go on an on, bout the salmon feast we ate,
me an Yoi and Fogman hubby – skulls eaten offa plate 
an so on. . . but it's gettin late.  I'll make it short.

Sistah Yoi break all them rules, an so do I. 
We eats the salmon with our eyes open, o.k. –
an it turns into bark.  I says to her, hey,
let's get outa here.  I'm freaked.  So am I.

We heads for the door – makes a run for it.
The skulls come roilin right after us, yellin ko ko ko! 
an all that, loud as they can rattle.  Les go!
We streaked outa there – shit,

man, it were no contest.  We still got legs.
Them heads is rollin like a difficult task is 
proposed to the hero.  But it's
nothin.  We crost them five prairies before the eggs

is fried over easy, know what I mean? 
It's like, the entire tale consists of one move; 
you gotta just get into the J groove! 
Misfortune or lack is made known.

Yeah, well I know bout them vee-prop engines,
firsthand.  We was flyin.  Yoi was feelin good.
We gets home. The 'hood comes down, like a flood. 
Then – goddamn it – the villain effects a substitution.

Five years later, right – we're havin salmon.
Sittin aroun, the whole family diggin it, good times. 
Think it was July, o.k.  Yoi, she finishes the clams, 
starts on the fish, right–close her eyes – an she's gone!

I looks on her plate – there's little pieces of bark on it! 
Damn that Fogman!  My eyes gettin all blurry –
stingin with it!  So you understan, Henry –
maybe – why I gots to hurry.  Before I'm just a obit

myself!  Hear what I'm sayin?  Bluejay looked mighty 
serious and sober at that moment in time,
his eyes fixed on the horizon, or on Orion – (I'm
not quite sure which).  The dark little city

stretched before us; somewhere, there was a door.
Or perhaps we were the door – some kind of whining 
whirlwind, some kind of cloud-sized, circling
hand over our eyes – above the pyramid, over the dolour.

And the pair of us move downward-forward –

                           *                  *
                           *                  *

                           *                  *

Roger Williams' "original spring"

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