The "occasional" aspect of this poem can be sketched out as follows: it was written on Nov. 22, the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. It is also the birthday of former longtime RI Senator Claiborne Pell. Pell lives in Newport, where JFK & Jackie Onassis were married. There is a "memorial" aspect built into Forth of July as a whole, around the numbers 28 & 29. The poem closes in various points on Good Friday, in particular April 15, the day of the year both Lincoln and Cesar Vallejo died. There are many more instances of this sort of calendrical design, a few of which I have already mentioned here: such as 5.28, the saint's day of Guillem de Gellone, & the day William Blackstone was buried - this being the day before 5.29, JFK's (& Henry-narrator's) birthday. The central poem of the entire book is titled "Ghost Dance", the implication being that the poem sort of scripts a re-birth or resurrection of all the ghosts it memorializes. Probably the most direct version of this is the carnivalizing of the name "Henry", which plays on the idea of John Berryman's "Henry" redivivus (Berryman, as I have mentioned, died within sight of my grandparent's home on River Road, along the Mississippi). (See this poem from the sonnet sequence Island Road.) All this play around ghosts, names, iconic figures from history, birthdays & dying days & saints days, is a way of presenting a carnivalesque image of Incarnation.