Working on the Eighth Draft, June 21, 2012
BOOK X Summer Serialization
The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem, THE ARGUMENT:
“Passage from India. Passage to the Americas. Borges opens the door. Walt Whitman captains the Persona back from the “streams of the Indus and the Ganges,” “circumnavigation.” Pacific blue. Octavio Paz, a shape-shifting jaguar, and Teotihuacan, the Temple of the Moon. Neruda’s “The Heights of Machu Picchu.” Borges, through a mirror, on the pampas, Buenos Aires. Argentina’s “disappeared.” Under the Southern Cross, bitter juntas of the soul. Mirror moon draws in the Persona, onward to another continent.”
Passage to the Americas
Passage from India. Passage to the Americas. Walt captains the Persona back from the “streams of the Indus and the Ganges.” “Circumnavigation.” Pacific blue.
I had not intended it. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me. It was a discovery of the writing itself. The journey was so arduous I had wanted to end it in India, go back to the moon… “have done, have done, with every vain, dinning complexity.” I might have thought of it a few times, but always dismissed it, couldn’t see a way through South America.
And then I stood on the pachisi courtyard. Alone. Believing it was time to return to the moon.
Borges opened the door, showed me the way, my reading of him, forty years ago, overwhelmed me to my utter amazement. The structure through the struggle. Neruda’s “The Heights of Machu Picchu,” Octavio Paz, Archibald MacLeish’s “Conquistador.”
Mayans, Aztecs, Incans. Argentina’s “disappeared.” Borges, through a mirror…