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.