Today, most curiously, is the birthday both of Edgar Allan Poe, and of his literary soulmate & would-be bride, Helen Whitman. I've written a lot of local-historical poetry about them, & other local Providence things, which you can find here (best to start at the beginning).
Edgar Poe was fading fast in the late 1840s. Yet he had hopeful & grandiose dreams - of marrying Helen, of starting a new literary journal, of instigating an American cultural Renaissance. It all came to nought... or not. Poe, in characteristic ghoulish (Baudelairean) fashion, achieved his aims - after a century or so. His Providential ghost-bride (Whitman) came at it from another angle... yet they reached the same goal. (Walt was the only literary figure of note to attend Poe's lonely funeral.)
Early tomorrow morning, a rare alignment of planets will be visible on the North American east coast. (Search below for confirmation.)
In the Rock, the library, in Providence.
Snow’s hexagon glissando
falls on Whitman-Poe
birthday. Athenaeum lens
(blind flash of mercury & lead)
poses twin agate lamps –
of seahorse hippocamps
& dread. Envisioning (not-dead).
Dust-labyrinth of pupa-pharaoh.
– Eureka! I have found you,
Madeleine! In mold of lichen
Venn diagram (Raven) –
Martian crossroad, Jovian
Juliet-canoe... (shade of Ferrara sun).
Saturnine Henry disappears
under the alignment
of these stars’ bent
light palladium coheres
& spheres revolve (toward Galilee).
Into Newport Holy-Land
sail Jack & Jackie... Helen
Whitman... Eddie Poe. One shy
brown bird, conducting lilac barge
beneath cedar boughs;
bearing between twin prows
her dewy double-ewed grail-charge.