Read-Along with Rest Note

Poem # 15 :

15.1 : "Hobo on a promontory" - Prospect Park, Providence (overlooking city). ..."the chestnut" - an actual little chestnut tree (featured also in concluding passage of Stubborn Grew).

15.2 : "He mumbles toward her" - the poem repeatedly emphasizes various notions of reciprocity or love as integral to reality itself. Part of cosmic "ontology".

15.3 : "We was surrounded..." etc. - and the poem also repeatedly emphasizes acts, commitment, sacrifice - consequences of same reciprocity.

15.4 : "Providence...tree-murmur...wilderness" etc. - the future is obscure, but is entwined somehow with language ("magnetic susurrus").

15.5 : "shorn calibrations" - speech as measurement sheared from (ie. both distinct from and emanating from) common sense or common understanding ("ex-commonwealth"). "vectors... reproof" - speech as ordering or presenting both our sense of future possibilities ("prescience") and our acts of judgement ("gabled reproof"). "9-storied...tithe" - speech is an exploration (a sortie) toward a "tenth" (tithe) - an offering or commitment from one to the community - the offering which relates to the "sacrifice" noted earlier. "9-storied" : ie. part of the ninefold puzzle-game-maze-quest which crops up in various images through the poem - imaged in the 9-10 structure of the poem's sections, etc.

15.6 : "honey...locust" - John the Baptist subsisted on locusts & honey in the wilderness. "Kingfisher / ...jay" - Jesus ("J") was dunked (became "naval" like a diving jay) in the Jordan at baptism before the Spirit of God descended "in the form of a dove" ("jonah" in Hebrew). "sober stillness" - image of the perfect "rest" (cf. "Rest Note") to come. The stanza miniaturizes a whole pattern of sacred history, just as the previous stanza miniaturized a sort of sacrificial pilgrimage toward it.

15.7 : "Hobo turns his face..." etc. - a sort of paradoxical image. Hobo is ineluctably united with the "spirit" represented here ("the breeze in his mind"), yet he turns his own spirit, as if to free himself from himself, or shake loose from his own limits. Nevertheless, the rooted presence of the "chestnut" - an image binding heaven and earth, self and spirit - "anchoring, remains". Anchored in the heart : the "tears in the blind" are both the tears wept by the blind, and tears in the visual or mental "blinds" which separate us from reality.

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