Once in Paradise

Now Henry moves on to 3rd chapter of magnum opus (or o'puss).  Once in Paradise is the title.

Paradise comprises about one square mile of Middletown bordered by Second Beach, Paradise Avenue, Green End Avenue, and Third Beach Road.    -  James L. Yarnall, John LaFarge in Paradise

Stubborn Grew has its own wave-pattern, to-&-fro.  Begins with sketches in 1st chapter; puffs to full-blown spinnaker in 2nd; then 3rd sluffs back into sketchbook.

Henry is on the rust-red couch again, where the poem began.  Casting out lines, perpendiculars, radials.

But now he's sinking deeper into America.  Melville & Bluejay & Hart Crane are in the picture; the salty squint of Herman the Merman casts an iceberg eye (Moby Dick, Confidence Man) on the American enterprise.  But Henry's still searching...  so it goes & flows... 


There was a garden behind Shakespeare's Head. 
A long time ago, before you were born.
Before you were born, before you were born,
a garden there was, behind Shakespeare's Head.


Home again from London, I lay near Lucky;
a man on the sofa, nearly lucky, I lay.
A man of clay, eyes open, looking out at the sky.
As though the blurred porch window held the key.

Blue arch of sky, a flurry of pussy willows. 
Out of the man of clay the heart goes out 
through the eyes – a circular route, 
elliptical, eccentric. Whatever nobody knows

sounds, unspeakable.  Toward the willows; 
toward the bent branches shading a long river, 
somewhere (ingrained in the interior).
A dream of the clay man, motionless, comatose.

An image in the glass, or ghostly hum 
draws breath from lakes of immobile eyes. 
A statue, stirring Provençal sighs
from old books (Francesca's boredom), or

immobile blue-brown blur captured in a porch 
windowpane.  A supine, motionless man of clay. 
And something quivers in his chest – today,
eternity – a key, scrambling in the latch

or Bluejay, whistling, rehearsing in the tree. . . 
icon filling the frame for a troubled moment 
like lost summer wind, crossing cement
with deep soil. . . infant memoir of infinity.

Closed eyes and speechlessness.
A clipper, sailing over seas of grain. 
Bluejay's fiery Chippewater – a milk train 
way.  Eyes closed, and speechless.

Blackstone River

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