You found a sheep instead

So stubborn old Stubborn begins to wind its thread-spool toward conclusion - an ending Henry the Hero did not expect.  The elegiac mourning dove (down Dove St., in Fox Point), walks pigeon-toed to her job on Wickenden St. - managing a long-ago little yarn shop called Sheep's Clothing.  Henry the Remorseful Cad takes the measure of his actions.

The closing coda to the following passage is found at the center of Stubborn (part two) - at the mid-point between the 2nd half's four chapters.  In a macrocosmic structural sense - unbeknownst to Henry yet - this little coda is one of the three pivotal turning-points of the whole gigantic work (Forth of July).  In the third book of the trilogy (July), the last broken sentence here - "Thy will" - is united with its other half, in the final (3rd) pivotal passage of the poem : "Be done."


Gray skies this afternoon, waiting. Tensile, 
incipient, bare branches cup their furled scrolls 
in the early wind, waver in its eddying swirls. 
Each maple bud would soon go twirling, sail

into the palm of your hand – where lines 
climb at a fractal slant upstream – below 
the five galactic whorls of fingertips.  Oh 
Henry where is he now?  Where his line begins.

The line that forked away from home, shadowed 
by a scornery Sophie-ship.  So pigeon-toed,
so dovetailed now, mirroring his once-so-proud
titanic liner – merging, pointed now, cup overflowed

and broken down.  Tacking up heavy seas
and married to the mer, he murmured.
Almost permanently pyramidical – immured
(it seemed forever) in a merde of murdered mercies.

Bent above his coughing mug, the shaking cubic 
salt and pepper memo pad, black antlered penther. 
Amara's torn down now?  Breast cancer found her.
Up narrow stairs we were – mid rattling looms, thick

yarn, spooled colors – Irish uruguayan.  Warm
and furred, many-colored curled Klee-coating for some 
earnest lamb's wool Josephine's Egyptian tomb. 
Discern therein any departure?  No man, but a worm.

The gray skies early now, the iron spring, rewounded. 
And until every drop of blood drawn with the lash
shall be paid with another, drawn. . . words mesh for 
Lincoln pacing slowly toward his Jordan (costly ford).

The loom in my heart furls sails.  Henry notes it down, 
follows out the thread, obedient, at least, this once. 
She's walking there down Hope Street once
again.  Round and rounding.  Swoon.

Off the bicycle (a busted vesica), seat on the ground, 
wheels turning in the air, this labor of pared 
hearts.  Offbeat pinewheel covenant, prepared
from the beginning for, your scoundrel

mongrel roundelay, so trageggillegiblemate and regal.
I travel in your curving shadow.  Higher, backward. 
Meanwhile, inside the battlements next door
rosy children in their Sunday best (seagull

tumultuous outside) take up green swords
in reedy palms.  A Holy Rosary parade
of fateful Portuguese.  They read
the bitter gospel bread salted with twisted surds

and knotted ways.  Whiff of bleating sacrifice 
blows through the pages.  Mounted on a colt 
revolver, the religious gunman crowded to a halt
outside the walls of Memphis or Jerusalem – twice,

three times rooster crows – Rome
too revolves around a black sun petrified –
darkness three hours – Henry's mad liner cried 
out crossed-out now redemption – plumb

the mystery – 47 angles wedged there
(and one more won't say)
when a Rosary priest  (like Bluejay
or his sister) dove through the crowd – over here,

Henry! – then flipped his cape and winking 
disappeared again – children singing, 
circulating their remorseless thing – this 
bloody crowning point of no returning

aye, black sheepish limb swirl dreamycat! 
Oh aye, the two-edged sword forked
like a broken spooner across your pate
marked danger – tattoo drifts toward Ararat.

He sheds himself, your humble serpent, bronze. 
Pass over now your own Red Sea, Henry, and see. 
From Shakespeare's Head to Fox Point foot we 
willed it flicker-tongued and Byzantine.  The gongs,

the gong-show!  Icon basilisking marvy griffin!
There's your parade now just for you
they're coming, Henry!  A whole black crew
of twelve thousand gallery slaves with muffins

and white wine!  Sailing!  Toward Sophie herselfl 
Down the Nile! – it's a Biblical epic, I think,
or Shakespeare?  Have another drink
it's Mediterranean, with medium-rare California surf

blurred logistics – cost over 12 million suits–
tighten fishline – holds! Was a love-child, you say? 
You don't say.  Out of a Gypsy come what may 
Romany-passage to India buy some other trivial roots

or so.  And the wind blows, pining.
Handel in the palm-trees, mournful. 
Voices in the distance, fading.  Remorseful. 
Loves what vanishing

still sound.  Echo homo harmonica.
This crown is hearse, hirsute, of hair of hers, 
a black shadow late lightness filters 
through dusk . Steadfast. Eureka,

sighs Henry.  Only sighs, tears. 
Water my David mountain, psalms. 
My broken strings.  Drums,
exeunt, arrears.

You hear the sound of my voice, fading too. 
As in a Marvell grove, the bird sings,
the wheel turns, springs
another year on earth. Moving toward you,

the feet, pigeon-toed, the round one, 
almond-eyed.  Oh my dust, clay of my clay. 
You hear the voice in the distance, another day. 
This is where it rings, unleavened, undone

in the lost steppes, in the nun's grief destiny, 
in the summer shade, in the midnight sun. 
Your bride is calling you–the other one. 
You never knew.  Criminal penury

of sheepish clown.  Fool.
Lift his skull out of the pit now, Hamlet. 
Go back to Elsinore.  Repay your debt.
A frosty cross-rime.  It shall be your school.

Self-drowned off salty Cuba, crowned 
this pelican will feed her own
out of her checkered, Florentine 
checkmated treasure chest. Blackstoned.



Looking for a cat one day, you found a sheep instead. 
Alone on a hillside – where a cool wind blew 
through mournful pines.  It was fresca al fresco
ephebe – all in one day.  Just yellow, blue, and red.

That lamb's wool (black x white) mingled so fine, 
wound so subtly – if it were set adrift at sea
so buoyantly. . . her weft – fore and aft –
bobs up–a clipper ship! – or catamaran!

Beneath diagonals of sanded glass morning 
sunlight swarms.  Warm rows begin to flower.
Shamrocks, in the mirror of a friendly star,
grow.  Primary school, where all the children sing–

even roadside J-rigged bluebells begin to ring.
Past Fox Point, India – fingering sitar –
Gypsy Moth goes glowworm.  Shore to shore
seaworthy, from Cape V dawn (Tahiti in the evening).

You'll find the parallels at the end of the trail road. 
Something about a point of all this traveling?
On the other side of the massive mountains, ding-
dong.  On the other side of the mast.  The light glowed

through the clay wheel, once – a mere pinhole 
magnified in your heart – in the den, in the nest. 
And it wasn't the maelstrom – pinwheel, all the rest. 
It was you, and only you, turning.  Thy will.

Holy Rosary Church, Fox Pt.

Driveway patio, Fox Pt.

Ship of fools

Chapter 2, Part 2 steams on.  The national economic struggles & political corruption emphasized in the previous passage suddenly swerve back into Rhode Island - a local brew of slavery, inequality, corruption, & greed comes to the surface - suddenly Henry's foundering old tugboat mixes it up with the Ship of City-State...

Bluejay (now in the guise of a vaguely Cape Verdean sailorman) still hovers in the background.  His diatribe at the end of this passage is a reminder of the date of composition : anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination.


In the dark, aboard a cracken ark, Porky Pig
was eatin his cloven hoof with powerful canned 
peas (minus his favorite buffalo) when she runned 
aground suddenly.  Haven, or riven?  Fig

leaves fell from a blistered tree as he shuffled 
across the deck with both hands behind his bark. 
The night was howlin.  Hairs on the back of his thick neck 
bristled – what was that?  Muffled wind riffled

across the gunwales.  Up by the bowsprit and figurehead 
he thought he espied another head – or its shadow, 
lifted around the old and oaken prow.
Q?   M?  W?

The animals below were whimperin.  Must be a scavenger, 
thought he.  A milk-white snow was driltin slowly
down now out of the impenetrable murk of sky.
Two furry ears – that's what he saw!  Wolf-ears, for sure!

[Wolf, of course, as everybody knows, is Ravlin 
in Old French.  This is an allegorical clue
for the miniature navvies in blue
bottle flights of ravenous imagination.

Cowwamaunsch means I love you. 
Cautantowwit – Raven.
We're back in Rhode Island
and Henry has a lot of explaining to do.]

Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony until 1975. 
500 years. 12 islands.   Lucrative.
By 1700, Providence pop. 1200.
Commerce: rum and slaves.

Tillinghast wharf, Fox Point.  Lumber, dairy, dried 
fish, beef, pork – for molasses, sugar, cotton,
men, women and children.
1770: rum to Africa = four-fIfths colonial trade.

1770: Rhode Island enslaved more Africans
than any colony in New England  [Sam'l Hopkins]. 
Georgian mansions exfoliate above Transit, 
merchant wealth spurs industrial development,

Power, Tillinghast, Brown, Goddard, Metcalf, 
names to reckon with unto this day–
beneath each domicile's armorial display
a painfully tattooed arm.  Aye.  Your other half.

Money makes the man [LD. writes in diary].
Come along there, Nelson, little lord Fauntleroy. 
Grandfather Aldrich was completely different
a great man with the people [Nelson A. Rockefeller].

Nelson W. Aldrich    grocery boy Napoleon Boss
of the U.S.A.    learned to hate the hoi polloi.
It was in the old church all unchanged since. . . my 
youthful self sat bolt upright upon its hard board seats. . .
those which I had known as boys and girls were fathers 
and mothers; many prematurely old, most unmistakeably
entering into that dreary monotony of drudgery 
and toil from which they never could emerge.

Not our Nelson.  He has brilliant dark eyes 
which he fastens closely upon the person 
manners genial and attractive    fine
black hair    over six feet tall    nation's

economic business in his hands    No,
don't ask me any questions, let's talk about 
something else    he wanted to found an estate 
family feeling, love of beautiful things   [oh

yeah: "innate class sense"]    above the reach 
of circumstance, above the whirlwind
of common passion    very walls whispered 
of the state secrets they have heard    [Beach

today? Yacht]    Five years    imprisoning alliance 
to traffic    and then I will be free    Politics 
transcendent business in Gilded Age  [just fix
the votes]     Oligarchy-approved voting restrictions

20 of the 38 towns that sent Nelson to Senate 
bought outright    he was above it all – the hordes 
and swarms of Fox Point [Lower East Side]
for 30 yrs never gave a speech    seldom wrote a letter

Sugar Trust     $7 million in cash to Aldrich if he'd
fix the Providence streetcar monopoly    United Gas 
and Improvement    pleasure for me to arrange this
don't bother to read    just sign your name and return to me

His daughter married the only son and destined successor
of John D. Rockefeller. Thus, the chief exploiter

of the American people is closely allied by marriage
with the chief schemer [gutter newspaper yeller 
journalism]    great overriding purpose to his career 
private goods were what he valued most, and it was private

The yachts, the sleek yachts, the yachts 
in the attics of Attica, bottled, sold. 
Unable to read the sequestered forehead 
in the hold – nature's formulaic J-stroke

coming home, up Nile.  Weight
of a man's arm, or black stone, in 
the scale of a frozen Slavic horizon 
[Pushkin's Horseman, mile after mile

in Neva-Neva land] – wolfman [out of focus] 
his eyes blurring coming out of the library 
[John D. Rockefeller Brown University] 
heads to Wickenden – hocus-pocus.

Heavy weight on heart.  Clay on sea-floor 
could be Atlantis or some Coatlicue 
calculation.  Old and rich, you
keeping sinking [cream? a little more?

– no thanks].   Almost time to go back. 
Where's my list.  The rivers keep churning
 toward that monotonous drowning
delta.  He's just a cross-eyed Micmac,

a rocky feller.  Wow Mon.
You sho look like a wolf today. 
Say, are them fangs made a clay? 
– See you in the hippodrome,

Nile Maiden.  Ship done hit rock bottom.
Quit horsin around. Scrounge
me up some greenbacks fo the Lounge.
Manny's Ringside. Last chance now – only home.


The old Cape Verdean Fox Point was gradually
washed away by historic preservation and urban 
renewal.  Coulda been a contender.  Down at Manny's 
Ringside they still gathered years later for the memory –

longshoreman from the islands keeping 
alive the swansong of the Rooster – Manuel 
Q. Ledo.  One-upped all the bosses for Local 
1329.  Henry at their beck and call tacking

here and there noting it down – because
along that friendly rudder of the bar he felt 
the shadow of a piece of it all – nostalgia, silt, 
salt air.  And now it loomed into view–the rose.

Not the fragrance of the flower but a splintered 
thorn from keel, prow, weathered shoreman's hook. 
The dead weight of it stretching the wrist, the knock 
of bulky hulls against the wharf.  Hulk, centered,

manual, with planted feet.  Mock if you will.
The will was trance. . . transfigured, there.
When time steps one way, ineluctable – we share
its fate.  Memory is pierced.  Tattooed.  Impersonal.

The future is a nest of possibilities.  The past
a splintery keel of heavy oak.  Its very weight 
(fixed point of pigeon towline – artifact) 
whispered–cut the bull now.  Change your course.

And into Providence harbor sails the Ernestina
Former Effie G – no phantom bark.  Pierced
Cape Verdean sailing history.  Rehearsed, 
reharnessed.  Figurehead.  Deus ex deadwood machina.

A bonnie lass she was too.  Pigeon-prowed, dove-
winged captain's unwed bride, his pride 
and joy – dragging her husband's nets carried 
the precious spooled sheep's clothing to the cove.

Until he broke it all apart.  Not
all his skilled Caribbean dissertations 
could set the mast in place again.
Only. . . the splinter is an anchor now.  Heart-

shaken-down pierced acorn coracle began to grow 
steadfast sidelined kelson.  Missing leg
become J-stroke missive skyborn eaglegg 
pen circling around the pen.  Icon. Leo,

Eleonore, Elena – Negus of leonine line highborn 
above her, ever-never new-encompassing
 (compassionate) my perky pining
– sharing Charon

eyeing his hand with a single coptic penny 
for a charitable crossing come to pass. 
Passed hand to hand. Kermess
or spinning wheel around a tiny tree

juniper vessel balm so prodigal-corne-home 
chasing elusive black sheep fader cat 
anchored in long, birchbarky hat
with pine bows in rosy peak-limned

limbs.  Penny to a poundsworth weighted 
with poversity.  Oh say can you see
high C – C'est la V!
Fxpt  .  fated.

And around and around and around that point we go 
– that's the whole point, thought Henry,
as he whistled low
in the pussy willow – wheeee. . .

the wind crying in the cedar branches overhead. 
The heart a target for a pistol shot. 
Sunspot – mole on your breast.
Love's nest – double in the mirror – redhead,

flaming, felix, broken open.  Two lips
of forking clay (divided once) now form 
a prow or figurehead.  And the storm 
is a raining eye–apocalypse.

The new eye in your chest X-pierced it all. 
Love afloat like wind above thought form
fills sails with effigies – an earnest swarm, 
magnanimous, domeward.  Iconofilial.

Pulls you starboard leeward toward the shipyard 
constantly , Venetian gardener. Bronze
horses, hidden in the snow.  Sins
hidden now too – the memo lists, the word

keels over – Pushkin on his back – fur 
electricity. Frank transit of Venus
one night stand for a little death
in Memphis – be milk, peaceful, above never.

Peters out now overhead.  Bare constellation. 
Nile island Pereslavl Charon barge, 
harred crossroad, dirge
in heaven, not

in London, Dublin, Lisbon. 
Providence unproven, dense. 
Why, it don make no sense 
that a man like that one

gotta bleed all ove creation 
f the sake of a feeble gam 
boll weevil bugger gem 
of a conversation,

man!  Square it wid yo motha! 
M tired a these cheatin 
chit-chats an bleatin 
explanafornicatory bro haha.

Misty formations an apolocalisthenics a 
deep well mints an sugardaddies an 
saurkraut an meansly pots o'paddies 
an whitegal neurasthenics an

Henry wid his mouf wide open! 
Keep on cryin, cryin.
Dyin, dyin.

And so slowly, slowly, the brokenbacked keel 
moved upstream.  Magnanimous, 
Mississippian.  Porous
the wind until

we can hold no more and the dove
sets sail toward the green mountain 
cooing morn and the ark cannot contain 
any more saturnine bronze lead from above.


Tugboats in Providence Harbor

The Effie M. Morrissey - now Ernestina

Sen. Nelson W. Aldrich

Manny Almeida's Ringside Lounge (Wickenden St.)

Little big congressman

So we keep on movin' on, into the second Chapter of the second Part of our grand picaresque adventure Stubborn Grew.  Henry our Hero still pivots on his faux Fox Pt., his Pushkin pinpoint.  The whirring motion of his nervous windmill begins to take on a distinctly Ez Poundian tincture (Ezra Pound, another damaged Dantesque bard).  In the effort to integrate his personal turmoil with his epic ambitions, he finds new avatars - like Ignatius Donnelly, the midwestern populist firebrand and eccentric scholar of Atlantis(!) and the "Shakespeare authorship question".  Donnelly, a staunch defender of the Common Man against Big Money, unfortunately exudes the old-fashioned Poundian/populist skunk-odor of anti-semitism too.  So in a sense we are back inside "Shakespeare's Head" - and we are looking for a way out of the waterlogged deep-sea shipwreck island where Henry's psychic journey seems to be perpetually marooned.  It's a jambalaya of Hart Crane, Vachel Lindsay, and Ezra Pound - three haunted millenarian Americans.

In the background, like a mournful coyote howl, you'll hear the refrain of a Shoshone ghost dance song.


W.  M.  W.  ms. O.  Raven.  Ravine.
Start over.  The pen seemed to move on its own 
over the blackbound memo pad.  Go on. 
Personal trivia.  All farmland then,

up around Summit Avenue, near the Miriam
The hospital.  Henry sipped his wake-up call. 
[God, this is so lame.]  An uncle
of the owners before us–at 132 [damn

these rhymes!] – drowned in the '38 hurricane.
Worked for the city – carried in a whirlpool 
down a sewer hole.

man underboard.  Guy full of wormholes, 
starboard hazy, green, tornadoish. . .
all black and blue [Jeesh,
Peatie-boat, c'mon, where are you?  What?  Moles?]

rose dusty out of the stolen contraption
beating his drumguitar, smoking cigar – some 
politician!  Clinton, wondering how to hum
about slavery while in Africa – lowly, with contrition.

If you stand over the manhole cover downtown,
in the dusky light the East Side is swiss cheese –
mountainous, with anonymous accounts – countless 
caves underneath, where the underground

railroad hid the runaways.  Earth Quakers, 
making freedom face the coppers of the realm. 
Still hollow there, under a. . . well, a spoken dream. 
[I love good scotch whiskey with crackers,

Bluejay.]  A dead man in a coffin – what
does he dream about?  Like Dorr at Swan Point? 
[East Side.  Go left at Rochambeau, right
at Blackstone Boulevard.]  Ghost dancing! – try it,

why not?  Because what a beautiful land
has the red man lost and the white man won. 
With all this there was the most un-
compromising impudence planned, unplanned.

[Unmanned? That's another rhyme for it. God,
this is sure gooey, Henry.  Think.  Try some 
history?  Evoke – Vico?  pp. 264 – Rome?
No time–Cesca going – take the kids

back to the library soon – 1. return books. 
2. call Ed.  3. do taxes.  4. write home. 
Donnelly did all that – while running farm!
Giants in the earth – Minnesota nooks,

brainy grannies –]  To build the city
of Nininger    lift the great little light acorn
even if one should be a Sour Kraut and
the other a Paddy

"hot house" techniques for town planning
Dost thou know how to play the fiddle?  No,
answered Themistocles, but    raising a little
village into a great city    lots on paper selling

Bill Mallen on the boat with his marked cards,
and Ingeneous Doemly with his city lots
Engaparai    yuwan    Wainaiyo    he yo
waina, Wainaiyo    he yo    wain.

Young Falstaff, with a round, chubby face, a round
well developed body, and round chubby hands
but with a mind    single, sequestered    upon diamonds
snowed in mini-Siberia under    crypto-mound

Verbally honed at Central High, City of Brotherly
Son of deceased Doc and serious "Scotch" Irish Mom
out of peddlar crowd of polite letters ambitious came 
for I am not one of those who believe politics is a mere

. . .base struggle for place and plunder   although   Fortunes
dropping out of the skies   those who would not gather them
were but stupids and sluggards   and   I can recollect 
in my boyhood Philadelphia was afflicted with

many riots   whites and blacks   natives and 
foreigners   churches and   fire companies.  All this 
has passed away.  The public schools have cured it all
With uncapped rim of honeyed oratoracles

I have a dream    Why should we weep to sail 
in search of fortune?  Cheer for the West
Dago donzi aiyo    wa ye wa    bangovia
sogovi     yaiyowain
Every man goes [West] on his own hook,
if you tired of your trade you could pre-empt 160 acres 
– steam on the prairie, steam on the mountain–across 
high buildings in a single–hissing, screaming–look!

It's – Ignatius Donnelly!  I.D. – the very witty best,
in persona!  Cheer one and all, stovepipes sky high now! 
Gonna wash that town, Congressman – and how!
We who come, Mr. Speaker, from the far West

have not that deep and ingrained veneration for State power 
State lines, State names, State organizations    creatures 
of accident    Our people move into a region of country
and make the State   off-shoots of the nation   [little lower

than Los Angeles subdivisions]  Nana suyage hombi
nana suyage horn    sinam bogombi engana    todowaina
sinam    I have drawn your salary in advance for a year, 
and am consequently flushed with funds    Ramsey hombre

raised up 1st Minnesota on the run for Lincoln 
fustest with the almostest    to Gettysburg it all 
comes down to    last full measure    a cupfull 
runneth over, before it's over, over their    conjunction

With nearly one billion [acres] of unsettled lands
and many millions of poor oppressed people
let them organize the exodus which needs must come 
and build, if necessary, a bridge of gold across the chasm

lectured before lyceum groups on non-political subjects 
Minnesota's "Indian Mound Builders"
– miserable thing this dignity without money is!
reading included Anatomy of Melancholy    projects

for Ramsey    rum deals    acquainted with wire pulling
railroad the Chippewa commissions    lots for sale 
lots and lots for sale    everything for sale
now that Lincoln's gone    railroading

Ignatius on the outs at home again    forlorn in Nininger
reflects on the great waters of knowledge    Atlantis 
drowning    full fathoming    his cryptic galleys 
Damen    nuwitsi     zani-suano-ve    gemano


Damen    nuwitsi    zani-suano-ve    gemano    They only 
deserve success who are equal to the exactions of misfortune 
round man at homer node    seen it all wax and wane
out in field stubble    D.C. pump-handle parties    lonely

farms    and the sound of the railroad train
blows over the sound    of wind in the pine trees
a cold and naked wind    Grand Forks    Mississippi
bottomland toward    each rivulet    of rain

Ye    va    varuke    ye    va    varuke-penji
Water    water rising    water    water rising
It is all ancient forms and ceremonies
with a republic underneath    Queen always consents

dynasty would not last forty-eight hours    dismay 
of one usher when I got out of line of procession 
During the evening of May 31
Donnelly debated the authorship at Oxford    LLrnd.

[save the Bacon for later]  There are really but two parties
 in this state today–the people and their plunderers. 
Shall the people keep the fruits of their own industry
or shall the thieves carry them away?

Farmer's Alliance     Union Labor party
Donnelly's 7 rights:    1. to the full fruits of their labor 
2. to education     3. to rise & go forward
4. to acquire all forms of property

for property is comfort, peace, plenty & civilization 
Dave    bauwah    doiyave    dave    bauwah    doiyave    ena 
5. to obtain from this world all blessings benefits and 
beauties that are in it    6. to be esteemed a gentleman

even while he labors with his hands.
7. to combine to reach these results.
Donnelly now particularly hostile to the railroads
introduced severe regulation measure    granted

special shipping privileges to Minnesota grain producers 
Legislature wasted whole session attempting to bury one man 
defending the people from robberies of railroad corporation 
the Yankee blue blood of the Twin Cities

never tolerate that a damned Norwegian without boodle 
the men who encourage you will do nothing for you
only be reformed from the outside    yellow
oriental cunning Jew Caesar's Column of blood-

curdled whey for the voting pablum
vox populist    ghost dance
Ba    buhi    buhi–mande    ba    buhi    buhi-mande
Caesarean Rome

deal    very very rough and tumble Washington soaked
in graft    monopoly games     This continent
is the last great camping ground
of the human race    completely blood -sucked

base metals into gold    Ephraim Benezet
in a bottle    yet    unable to combine rural and urban 
working people reform groups    Beaten!
Whipped!  Smashed!  Our followers scattered

like dew     he goes back to his beloved cipher 
worth more than all the governorships in the world
greenbacks    gold & silver    coal combines    100
percent profit    rat-headed gang of reformers

peculiarly Donnellian    political lumber jugglers 
bribes    anonymous slander    bimetallism 
1890    latent [latent?] anti-Semitism
others are moving into the woods, building shanties,

reverting to Indian conditions
Buhi    wa    n-doiyavi    buhi    wa    n-doiyavi    yaiyowainde  
There are no more Minnesotas on the planet 
rat-tailed slant-eyed Mongolians

[or maybe Siberians?]   I am not a candidate 
for office and never will be    I am growing old 
and the grave is not many years ahead
best religion in the world is that

of doing good to our fellow creatures 
wooden buffalo nickel lndianhead penny 
all the rage    gloomglittering eyes
in the wall of Gehenna    a vast array

of starving men becomes a terrible thing now 
organized by Mr. Coxey and advancing on Washington 
capitalistic class of New York and London
45 cents a bushel    who's gone into

this conspiracy? No man has a monopoly on wisdom.
Sihivi    winogande    sihivi    winogande
Dugai -e ogande    dugai -e ogande
Go on, Mr. Bryan, we are with you!  Boom-boom

Bryan Bryan Bryan Atgeld Bryan Bryan Bryan and it's
 [Henry, by George, too!]  tenting tonight
on the old camp ground    can anything but
Divine Providence prevent the swarming idiots

from wrecking themselves [he noted pessimistically
in his memo]    Minnesota Pure Election Law
of this 60 cents was for railroad fare
I am 69 today    if I had not had a partial stroke of palsey[sic]

On July 4, 1900 [G'ma Gould's b'day] Donnelly 
had a novel sensation    when I came to speak 
my powers went back on me    I made a faux pas 
of it    dead failure    but my nerve held

had suffered a mild stroke    shortly after midnight 
January 1, 1901    fatal heart attack
Bagana-via    bagana-via    bagana-via
Dugum    bagana-via    dugumba    wanekinora

Ghost dance    swarms of hungry men    Falstaffs
afloat    in a porkbarrel    a railroad line to the
golden West    and Donnelly brings home the bacon 
round, chubby, bullish    reefs in

the sales    of the sinking Atlantean bark
one will all one of hungry desire under Northern
Star or    steadfast other one    [Venusian?]
and to the feast they come    ghosts    wind in the dark


Ignatius Donnelly

La vida es sueno (intermission)

Visited Swan Point Cemetery today, and the grave of my kind teacher & friend Edwin Honig.  Sir Edwin (knighted by the governments of Spain and Portugal).  Edwin - among his many a stirring deed - wrote a book-length poem set in Providence, titled Four Springs.  "Life is a dream."

The grave of Edwin Honig - Poet, Scholar and Knight

River Avenue (Swan Pt. Cemetery)

The long way home

As with the first part of Stubborn, the second part (Fox Point) is divided into four large chapters (unnumbered this time).  & to reiterate, the feeling, the atmosphere is different.  Spring is in the air; memory & nostalgia too.  We are in the old Lenten season, heading toward Good Friday and Easter.  The passages are longer, looser, more ruminative.  So this is a lot to share on a blog, but bear with me, I beg you.  It helps to go with the flow.

Maybe this is a late addition to the stream of American "confessional" poetry?  Yet the voice of Bluejay still interrupts now & then.


Old panes blur the light, the budding limbs.
Open the window – spring air blows in, 
scent of earth and scent of ocean
salt.  Moist precipitation.  Dreams.

Spring is a rewinding, like the wheel turning. 
The pottery wheel.  Your feet spin,
hands toss whatever comes to hand. 
Minnesota clay, remembering

earth.  Your breath thrusting into your lungs, 
the air, the wind like a wedge
toward your heart – savage
wilderness, or just a forest full of wings

– hidden, warbling in the cedars. 
And everything gathering momentum 
under the near sun now – thrum
of bees, flies, mosquitoes. . .

these particular syllables only a tendency 
toward an inexpressible
multiplicity of

memories.  Ineradicable pastness, 
forgettable, but indestructible, because past –
anchor for these most tentative and moist 
exploratory buds (pussy willow. . . birdnest).

Buried deep in a northern dark blue-green forest. 
Memory Point (node or bud of rewound
iron ore) springs out of snow and
frozen icebergs (greenblack. . . with rust).

A point or trivial notch of branches, whorled. 
Cedar – iron spring's myrrh-box, scented –
borne on a mirror lake pointed
toward the circumference (gnarled

hands).  A pottery wheel like the bicycle
I fell off on purpose once for you
back there by the greenhouse, Coatlicue
Buried back there, in the teeming receptacle,

in the tomb of eternal springs, edged
with endless banks of bright roses, azaleas, 
bumblebees hovering all around us.
Or like a seashell, salvaged

from all that droning blue curvature 
like a Viennese liner over a grain elevator, 
or the two gunwales of a birch canoe, or
the shadowy concave at the bottom of a crater.

Or like the old pain of a lie broken open suddenly 
shattering the fIxed order of a routine world;
into the rotten hollow of an oak tree poured 
your heartbeat, everything sullenly

leaden, dropping fast; breathing slowly,
the full weight of it coming on only gradually, 
the black stone held at arm's length barely 
visible–an arm, lifting you carefully

back onto the desolate sand at Horseneck Beach. 
Or like the sound of your husband's poetry 
becoming more implausible and petty
like shells crushed underfoot, a moldy peach.

Every grain of sand. . . one grain of sand. 
One drop of water. . . on the deep blue sea. 
One grain of sand. One little you, one little me. 
And nothing went as planned, understand,

because nothing was planned.  The line 
wavered along the shore as the waves came in,
woven with too many soggy threads, unraveling, 
unrelieved.  Hear them, still roaring, sighing.

The waves keep moving toward shore,
blown by the wind, but steady like these thoughts. 
Rounding Cape of Good Hope, rats
in stowage, pulsing (old poison, old fever).

They found the dead blue whale at Sakonnet Point 
(bird sanctuary).  Buried him in sand
with a backhoe, until the bones are picked 
clean–pretty soon he'll be hoisted

in a museum.  Look through the glass, children –
there's where his heart was, in that crib
like a houseboat of giant ribs
132 feet long or so, I reckon!

Square tail could crush a cathedral!
The heart was fibrillated – fuzzy logic – it's
a problem for every submerged marine biologist! 
Flotation?  – no question about that, pal –

some sink, some float, but this guy was buoyant 
long after he was dead.  That's how they found him. 
Sort of a Huck Finn and Jim
situation, except this whale was redundant!

So why'd he die?  Heartbroken, I guess –
he floated ashore, and that's it.
They'll make a lifesize clay model on site, 
you bet – Leviathan Quest

at Mystic Aquarium, or some such thing.
But what he thought about while he was singing 
those lonesome whale-tunes – ringing and booming 
across the arctic stretches – sleeping,

dreaming, all 200 tons of him – that's a good question. 
A whale comes on shore, at the end of winter.
Only 16 years old or so, remember –
dreaming of – hoping for – blue whale resurrection?


Transit was the borderline for Cape Verdeans. 
On one side, a triangle of po masonic Gees;
on the other waspy aristocats and kitties.
Transit of Venus was the etymology (Ben Franklin's

visit, to set up his lubber's quadrant, make
his calculations).  Lend you my blurred arithmetic? 
My hand, I hold it toward you.  Some trick, 
Bluejay – crafty, illegible, ledgerdemaniac.  It's magic.

My main book.  A Janusface janitor, or bibulous 
nowhere manx.  Pushkin?  Peter's puss –
nightmare tale, twirling, afloat – Oedipus 
horsing around at flood-tide – he is US!

Felix the Cat!  Falls through his tall black
Dr. Zeus hat – a white Bull (caesarean) in heaven 
with a heavy black hole for coracle – eleven 
doubloons shining continuously where the slack

line wavers across a sleepy Mexican hat trick! 
Bedded down among basketry.  The sun,
all murked.  The harness was broken.
The bull was loose among quick

bees, the frayed rope wavered in the cosmic wind. 
When we were young still, and young Henry 
gravitated downward, toward the clovery 
sheepshank, his gardener's bullpen, his lucky-found

fylfot.  Twirled the stalk between thumb and forefinger. 
Reclining (perpendicular) on the community loam. 
Mountain of an Aristaeus solar plexus – groom
for soiled wormdemocracy.  Dead ringer

for a rolling stone – pure fatherly Gould.  Your harvest, 
caesarean.  Only the scar remain.
A line, a line, a lyin' lion line.  From
purebred, streamfed vitality – one broken nest.

The sextons slowly passed, pierced with strange pud-
dingstone astronomy, petrified in a bottom-
less pit.  Life, unwoven golden poncho – condom,
harpoon – played out and queued up,

gnarled at the summit – a bus stop. 
They've closed off the Point Street Bridge 
have to go around for two years.  Edge 
become cloverleaf – a fruitless end-stop.

Pots and pans, potted plans, talk talk
and walk walk down to Wickenden. . . ended. 
Why then I'll fit you for it (unmended, 
unmanned).  Fate lifted the forking stalk

for you, and for many, for the remission 
of sins, handed on through the Venetian 
Blind King.  Quaternion.  Equestrian, 
bronzen – a charnel corporation.

The bull, unleashed, rushed for Siberia, 
entranced.  White nights, metallic, 
streaming (milky) toward – Mexique
Wolf shamans in sheepish paraphernalia

haruspicating trivial constellations, 
entrails full of liveried air. 
Ambervaglia. Square
one, always, again.  Nations'

patients, springing toward delivery room.
Midwifery – severe, umbilical –
deep tonnage of emptied black hole –
ribcage, heavenly irises, rolled into the gloom. . .

Babylon, King Starlight.  Daniel's
lyin in the den, by the fireplace, over the black 
sheepskin, tickley, tacky.  Hasten back
to Hackensack, well-done quixotic spaniel!

Jealously the jalopie jolted back headwards 
toward Governor Street.  Henry
came back to me 
frozen, in a petrified forest.

And oh, the blue gardener in the tall cedars, sighing! 
This wind, wounded, winding down, out of yeast
of yesteryear!  Those days were the beast
of our lies, cried Blackstone – hiding, bullish, dying!

The wind blows through the tops of the pine trees. 
Cedar-scented, salted, from the delta –
the fir trees, masted for London – a welter
of chained (triangulated, strangled) memories.

Bottomland. Dark splinters, drifting. 
Where Pushkin fell, into the song.
One grain of sand. . . prong
of eddies. . . in the greenhouse. . . burning.


Your cathetureen on a wheel of photogramus memory
 – molto freddo.  Frozen wires, veins in the desert. 
Your charred, fIled, floating, ghettoed yurt.
Your gippered Geppetto.  Your Roman V

in the snow.  The dyed crystals and 
negatingle twine of the darkroom 
– your L-shaped V-room.
Your dead groom (horseshoe'd) saddles

his rude hoss (animated heartbeat) –
hollow O.K.-corralled holy May-King-Ed 
shotgun wed can-o-pea'd
avid Indian sweat

logistic – I eva ketch yup-aroun-my-dhou–
remember (O Sire) issue pappy Rus
done loon dis Puss. . . – thus
charity purse Sinai-o-nary a one-two. . .


Three squared twice again as many days looking. 
Out, out from the triple plaid Indian terrycloth
Terrace – where the retread threads lapsed off a moth-
eaten granite statuette – a Mrs. sipping a

gulf-white caddyfull of a cargo of gold-rimmed toilets. 
Roll on, Muddy! Roll on easy! – how can I roll
when the wheel don't go?  Stucco in a telephone poll, 
petered out again, twain some Adamsize duets.

Roger on the horsedrawn carousel exhales another 
marriage-go-round, with a canker in the anchor 
and a sea-worm in the planetarium – your neighbor 
boring, his weight hidden under your coracle. . .

looped around an elopement with unraveling rope. 
Creepin, gropin, the inchworm struggled along,
the holetown turned out for Lanford-Highway-Strong 
the Firewheeler and his Army Jeepers spilled out – Hope.

Ruling along in a monetiferous alarmbox 
like a loco armtwistocrat or filibusterstein, 
the crusty old rustlers addled their twine
dealer trunks on the housebusted fox

furnished louseholdupleft mortregurgitato 
misterfry pandempedimental prezerfurbishing 
finassoloimprovizidential dusterflusterbing 
rehancementissue landlardial relocato

process of urban renewal.  While Henry nursed 
his floss, his thinness, into the gummed-up works 
and limping down the badly half-lit Turk's
Head building, sideways, he cursed

his fleet.  Row, row, row your butt!
he hollowed out of his own scull toward
the goose-fed brownian twitchcraft – hard,
a star, aboard the pyre, amidships. . . some nut

in dire duds, in need!  Third legs rolled up
like an Ahab rehab repropertied forever to some
veridical spermicidical spirelease conixdom-
estical horde of unwashed-for dim-sum gypsum

collidal undercollagic. . . pups!
Dark horde-it auld-rich Aldrich underturfed 
everything – with his folderol resurfetid
forever rock-a-bye-bye prestidigisenatorial one-ups

– he was doubloon white sellerboy if there ever! 
Pellifluous, chaffeureed raucousfeeler was he! 
Gildered his Power-Lip – mit Goldencalf und we! 
Smoothacious and trueblood, screwtimberme jiver

The door ever open, the green islands 
anchored.  The freeway troubled by children –
tear, tearing it down, slyly – undone
by seasalt catacombers–slow, steady sands,

flags, reeds.  And that striver on the hillside –
where the wind flows over his bent palm –
motionless – grows dizzy – his dream
afloat, untethered, circling by itself. . . we'd

done our best, some were calling up to him –
without a line, without an anchor –
voices adrift now too, on the air 
currents – slim

draft sketch ultralight – while
the heavy civic gondola began to rotate 
aimlessly (circling in black velvet 
around the pockmarked campanile)

carry me back to ol Virginie 
Love is Strong as Death
po sho have strong breath
an b.o. afloat plenty heavy now,

a festive scent of springtime, heaven-sent 
lost in the midmost everglide, the boat 
spins hypnotized mote by mote 
(and the arctic spell will not relent)

as (sea-worms calling) he
plows the American 
Dream – one 

pair of 

o. . .         

A warm spring day. Another sketch at the Terrace. 
Henry's divided by a perpendicular from the civic spiel. 
Drones with his incoherence though – a ferrous wheel 
where Roger steps off his canoe shooting over the cliff-face.

His lines tied in the knot of himself, what goes on 
in the urban breeze below no longer breaks through 
his metal grid – the whaling, wailing, wheeling, J-
whirling canoe's empty whorls.  Wheeeeee!  Fun!

Meanwhile the three of them – Cesca, Alex, Phoebe–
circle Mount David, gradually . A last trip
to the summit.  A spiralling thread of purple
wool, a line stretched out slowly upward, maybe

continuing down again, another way. . . Henry 
won't know.  He's divided from the apple orchard 
(except in his mind).  Absurd
the sad waste before, after these dreary

regrets.  Thinly, thinner, the black line, snarled. 
Wrought iron grates between them all – all below.
 An eagle eye M–inverted hand-trick – W?
– or Q-notched O? The lock, the key? World

compacted, then – in a dismal V – divided 
from itself?  Or is that the focus – figured 
in a splintered box of myrrh,
a crumbled madeleine – eroded

rood?  Henry sighed, and sighed, immovable. 
Absconded Blackstone.  Holed up in his heart, 
disabled.  Suddenly the heavy clay began to start 
revolving – Coatlicue, torn calendar, a sable

sheepskinned wolf, began to turn. 
Not yours, not mine, she was
a subway gravity.  Draws
your studied sketchbook down.

A frisbee drifted down the stream.
Fylfot.  Freefloating broken glass, bloodstained. 
B1938 + 666 on the radio map. . . do you read 
me, Jodrell?  Maybe Jodrell is off the curving

beam of light, the ring around the warping 
the broken thread bulled-up in Manchester 
the missing Manman (hubbled babbler) ,
the crystallized bad luck, the warbling

yellow-black oriole (golden now, ballooning 
guardian in the back of his head)
or levitating oscillating obsolete red 
roses tubbed on high, rolling

along now on a tellurian diurnal tell-all 
trajectory toward major harmony
on the cusp of the cloverleafy
[why did they have to build that wall

across the harbor?] freeway – sunny 
enough for a LaFarge barge or a Berkeley 
barque or the piercing call-regularity
of a rhody canoe, this glossy money

marker nailed to the mast at the equator. . . or. . . 
floats off humming toward Mendelssohn, an earlier
day.  Floats off, shadowed.  On foot.  Before, 
always.  And Voronezh caws.  Nevermore.

Gone.  Like those spousal geese, too far overhead 
in the high blue.  Smile, after mile, after mile. . . 
wings put behind. Invisible strings or catgut guile. 
Woven, this pattern of returning.  Forever, Ed!

You're naked!  In the Coffee Exchange!
An enterprise, lost in space!
Lost the whole race,
humanovoid!  Odd bull, always – on the range!

Stalled for the branding iron – a perfect zero!
A triple-played-out by-passed gummed-up crown-
bridge decayed fan ghoul-struck down-and 
outsider – swish!  No leg – no go!

If you lean sideways at the very edge of the picture
you can see where the double Ds of the jawline 
meet in a double embankment of dried bone
to form the venerable smile of a skull [factor

in your parallax and Einstein rings].
It's only Henry, between his velveteen 
ambassadors – these two times thirteen
unlucky characters. . .lined up for a killing.

Over his circular sawn circumference,
his coffeestained pale scrawl sheet.  The 
geese have flown. . . seems almost complete 
now.  Divide by six you get double eleven

hexed agons, rewound forever from here
to Jerusalem and back to eternity, under
providential skies – riven now, flown asunder 
like the V across his templed fore-

head – notch of sugarcane.
His city flown, his artifice is gone,
his wife is none.  He's in the hollow spine.
He's Edgar in the masquerade, insane–

he's in the poetry.  He's in 
the earth.  His number's up 
(a threesome).  Drop 
through a wormhole, you lyin'

lion – de day's yo own. 
Pussue yo Ali bye-byes, 
lies, yo phantom size –
an fool yo self alone.

                            4.1.98 (April Fool's Day)

Transit Street

"Venus Beats All" #2

Under the bridge (near Point St.)

Lake Vermilion