a little more from India Point. (passage to more!)
Autumn gathers everything together.
The ache of Orpheus rhymes with the atmosphere.
The air makes an arc of cold, toward Halloween
or Veteran's Day. Lovesongs are no more.
On the bench at the Point, he waits for the ships.
Oil tankers, long lean hammerheads (Rosevean,
maybe, or Providence - a windy microcosm slips
anchor, skims across skipping waves –). . . lips
whisper a hollow sound, through a dry reed:
surrender the romance of enunciation,
Now. The form was broken on the Golden
Gate, forever. From shady earthbound seed
(soft pussy willow bud) came the desiccated
husks. Yet he'll behold his Beatrice (constellate).
Yet she will not be the star of your design.
A changeable moon rides over the rigid pine
and her name (unspoked, unspoken-for)
won't let you croon sweet Nod, forever. . .
forlorn for nevermore. It was never translated
(she never bothered to read it herself, either).
This then was the cruelest impasse. Crux
of dilemmas. Cul-de-sac. Unable to sing her
back into his arms. The hapless flummox
fosters laughter. . . a sadist's paradox.
The skipper's iron yawn pulls away from shore.
Something of reddish iron takes tincture
(leached, homeward, from the heart it makes);
slight leaves curl slowly toward hibernal cure.
Along the promenade at India Point, at noon.
Two kinds of blue, of sky and limbeck bay
divided merely by a sketch of land – a green
marsh (going pale) and the smooth cones
of the oil tanks (throned, expressionless).
And something leaden like a plumbline
or something iron like an anchor draws
him toward autumn (with everything else).
And autumn is an old stone church, with snow
just dusting the cornices, the slate pavement;
a cool wind out of azure sky, strewing
carnelian maple leaves. He'll hunger then
for Indian summer – ripeness, ruddy perennials,
a hearth in the heartland. Break open the seals.
Something iron in the dividing line, spun thin
to lightest gold, like dawn – threadbare, glassine. . .
the line between my here and now, and yours.
The difference between ghost and angel, it was
the border between a feeling and a thought,
between listening and action (granite fathers,
mica sons). As if, on the circumference
of a wheel, the shadow of another wheel
impinged (weightless trine within bronze)
at eventide (as October light declines).
And it's not the maternal muttering, May-
fair's foreground, nor glittering of stars'
cosmetic romances (in Holy Wood). Strange,
steadfast. . . must pierce to marrow's otherness.
The sound of the hurricane was not the twirl
of an old fantoche. It seeped from stony habitus
of one who is what he is: freedom in the whorl
of one infinitesimal (rudimentary) snarl.
Orpheus, left alone on the docks, leans out
toward his image, shimmering in the sea.
Shaken by her shade (it shapes his hurt)
he would not die, withal – and the fiery heart
of the whirlwind felt like a pillar of smoke
by day. Follow the lead of the plumbline
to the anchor, summoned the sprite. Swift arc
from the prow of the Point, the line beckoned
as though a pearl gleamed there – a sunken
epiphany – consoling harmony, beyond his ken.
Transparent, behind your back, they rise:
the misty, vernacular academies.
Fogman, Everyman know them instantly
(rhymes or rhythms of innate identity).
Sullen, foiled, brittle antinomy, toughened
by lack of justice. Yet. . . your Book of J.
Where she curls around corners, a spy
playing hide n' seek, in Hell. Labyrinth
of concrete. Where flame flickers fitfully
and droopy Charon whines for every penny
beneath an abandoned India Jade tree
at the corner of the house. Only (after 132
heartache years) the rooster sex waltz will be
redeemed. . . by an unlikely, yearning, iron trinity.