Island Road is an attempt to graft a few idiosyncratic fragments of late 20th-century experience onto what is basically a Renaissance form, the sonnet sequence. I have tried to follow the example of John Berryman and Ted Berrigan on a path which has led to a personal and semi-mythical encounter with the recurrent shadow of Shakespeare.
But this is only part of the story, and there are many side-trails and byways along this road, many of them unfortunately obscured by thickets and brambles which only the hardiest readers will penetrate. Here are two simple markers to aid in orientation:
1. "Costaguana" is the name of the fictional Caribbean island nation in Joseph Conrad's epic novel, Nostromo . Among the novel's central characters are "the Goulds"; I have introduced them as means of carrying forward my own story.
2. The "Henry Gould Institute", on the other hand, is a real place (see sonnet #74). Established in Florence, Italy, by an American philanthropist many years ago as a "refuge for young Protestants," the Institute now serves as a hostel for students and other visitors to the city.
Contents | Mudlark No. 6