Read-Along with Rest Note.
Poem # 12 :
12.1 : "I heard some crickets..." - sometimes the poem drops the masks - the Teddy Roosevelt, Hobo, Lazarus, Oblomov, etc. "Soo Line" - an old midwestern freight train line.
12.3 : "a mask of gravity" - that is, the cricket sound stimulates memory, penetrates layers of past time, so time suddenly feels heavy, material, present.
12.4 : "railroad's ruthlessness" - refers to 19th cent. tension between small farmers, on the one hand, and railroad/mercantile interests on the other. "edict in the heart" - echo of TR's messages to wife "Edith" in previous poems.
12.5 : "peevish king" - allusion to Shakespeare's Richard II, figured variously in this part of Rest Note. "yon imperturbable" - God, divine providence. "shuffles the weights" - again, the oft-repeated motif (pervasive theme here) of balance, see-saw, polarity, swingset, between two dimensions of reality : heaven/earth, time/eternity, etc.
12.6 : "swingset... formula" - back, forth, life, dream... the polarity again. An architecture of reality - an old way of looking at things - coming back again, somewhat, somehow.
Curious how Rest Note is developing, in a sense, out of the final stanza of an important little section appearing early in that poem of several years ago, Stubborn Grew :
It begins with the headache of a rational animal.
Sepulchred, perhaps, in a whitened rhyme
or bibliophile's musty drawers – reflective rim
or echo chamber, some titanic scuttled shell.
And you lose the thread, and this is the thread.
Purpled, from the mordant notebook,
from the charitable extinct awk's
last corkscrew into a cup of molten mead,
like lead. The chorus and audience withdraw.
You are alone with the sound of an evening of a swing.
Here's the church, here's the steeple... here's the door.