take-off & return (counter-time)
Stubborn somewhat like a Finnegan-Wakean burial (the book ended, literally & figuratively, on Good Friday evening). The 7 large "panels" of Grassblade Light, like a slow & gradual rebirth out of death & winter. This section (from the second panel, "Letters to Elena") illustrates to some extent the "syncretic" amalgam of Crane/Russia/apocalyptic time-warp renewal:
An airborne bluejay chasing shadows
augurs fever's end – a port-in-air
ship in a purple jar –
blue joy or sadness, luminous.
Petersburg Mews – nine times around
with cat in tow – tiptoeing cat-
o-nines leashed to the bowsprit
there, where Time swam aground –
your skin warmblooded blond limestone
uplifted toward one temperate curve
echoing heaven once again. I carve
a window out of sanded syllables soon
through an hourglass formed by one paw
slipped into yours. Sound of cello...
textured... faraway Gabriel's piano,
all G minor... empty flask, unporous now.
The yardarm swings these shadows...
as the groundswell of the deep wave combs
my shears away all hands now comes
the anchor like a diving kingfisher goes
down toward never-Davy Jonas, and
the wind turns ready about and hard a-
loo blew V blue J a whack ralay raloo ra-
lonniga-lubber galoo baleen – grand
banks of whales above us blowsprit, spout
brit, sprout out loud and lubricate that
navigator's coughing chugboat – so
zesty with taffeta – so transvested with trout!