Can I say anything more about this poem, Fontegaia, without spoiling the fun (if there is any)?
Have been at my idiosyncratic process for so long it's sort of hard to take a step back.
Is it all so dark, abstruse, obscure? Maybe. Maybe requires a lot of scaffolding, instruction manuals...
I follow certain ways of seeing things & thinking about things. I share much of this, I believe (I hope), with other like-minded people. But as a poet, I don't enjoy cliches and shopworn generalizations about deep & mysterious facets of experience. I want to see (& say) things as they are, or as they were "on the 1st day of creation". This is an aspect of the intellectual game of my poems. The serial-continuous-repetitive forms are, I guess, in part anyway, a mode of expressive contemplation or meditation. I want to express the "brow of reality", in my own way.
As you can probably tell, I've come increasingly to see things through some kind of spiritual-theological lens. (Of course, this loses a lot of people, scares them off.) There are a few mental foundations I return to, whenever I try to do one of these self-summaries.
Such as the notion that reality is "personal" in some ultimate sense. That the universe is suspended in some fairly indescribable creative consciousness.
& the idea that human history is subsumed within a (very) dramatic narrative of salvation history, which involves, on its most basic level, a promise or covenant between the Eternal and the mortal, the human; and which promise is fulfilled in the most distinct and "incarnational" fashion, in actual human history.
& the counterbalancing notion that this "salvation drama" has been, from the beginning, in some sense a symbolic intervention - a representative action : the full, mysterious, intricate, various & particular truth(s) of which cannot be concretized in language. Language - even "sacred" language - only acts as sign : pointing, directing us to look & see & understand. Truth itself (going back to the notion of the "personal", subjective quality of creative consciousness) can only be embodied. (Walt Whitman descants on this point over & over again, in great phrases : "The words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything." & etc. etc.)
These two counterbalancing notions (actual - yet representative - salvation drama) find their crux, for me anyway, in the Good Friday & Easter events. A representative (unjust) death; a representative resurrection. As the death on the Cross is a figure for the death of Everyman & -woman - for our own particular mortality; and the resurrection is the same, ie., has representative meaning for each of us, personally, subjectively.
(Someone like me might also argue (& in so doing enter perhaps confusing & dangerous theological waters) that the clear recognition of both the actual & representative elements of this drama, is the sign itself of Joachim's & Bonaventure's coming of the "new age" : which was, for them, to be a change & renovation of the world, under the reign of contemplation.)
In my poems these events are encapsulated in the various "plays" I make on the letter "J", the word "Jay"... in one important example, "J" stands for "Jonah", which means "dove" in Hebrew. In this word are meshed both (1)the (comic) story of the runaway prophet in the bowels of the whale (a symbol, for me, of the existential blind travails of Everyman), and (2) the story of Pentecost, of the simultaneous and omnipresent manifestation of the post-resurrection-spirit - the "ghost-dance" presence of God (as dove) in the heart of Everyman. So in "Jonah" you have the melding of both crucifixion (the whale) and resurrection (the dove).
Poetry, in my view & practice anyway, offers a means of expressing visions of "how things are", which contrast with the methods & results of standard discursive prose, philosophical reflection, scientific analysis, etc. Poetry, as an art of "embodied" language, offers fundamentally dramatic models of reality; by "performing" language as self-sufficient play and exploration, these models suggest a universe which (somehow) underwrites & shares these same qualities - by rendering it suffused with personality & consciousness (as Whitman, again, pioneered so powerfully). In my understanding, a recognition & growing trust in these aspects of reality might help open the door to the full flowering of the love and confidence which is already hidden (in potentiality, in seed-form) in every person.
Fontegaia, I guess, is a kind of river-trip exploration of these & other realities. Along with previous extended poems (in Forth of July etc.) I try to dramatize & recapitulate these realities in the present, in the lingo of today.... and in so doing, to offer evidence for the idea that Time itself, as we know it anyway, manifests some kind of arcane ring structure - both ever-Now and (historically-chronologically-actually) symbolic - the mystery of which is in a process of continuous unfolding....