February 23 , 2009



A naked man in a city street—the track of a horse in volcanic mud—the mystery of reindeer's ears—a huge, black form, like a whale, in the sky, and it drips red drops as if attacked by celestial swordfishes—an appalling cherub appears in the sea— Confusions. Showers of frogs and blizzards of snails—gushes of periwinkles down from the sky— The preposterous, the grotesque, the incredible—and why, if I am going to tell of hundreds of these, is the quite ordinary so regarded? An unclothed man shocks a crowd—a moment later, if nobody is generous with an overcoat, somebody is collecting handkerchiefs to knot around him. A naked fact startles a meeting of a scientific society—and whatever it has for loins is soon diapered with conventional explanations. Chaos and muck and filth—the indeterminable and the unrecordable and the unknowable—and all men are liars—and yet— Wigwams on an island—sparks in their columns of smoke. Centuries later—the uncertain columns are towers. What once were fluttering sparks are the motionless lights of windows. According to critics of Tammany Hall, there has been monstrous corruption upon this island: nevertheless, in the midst of it, this regularization has occurred. A woodland sprawl has sprung to stony attention.
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