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Roy Scranton's stories, essays, and reviews have been published in Rolling StoneBoston Review, the New York Times, Contemporary LiteratureThe AppendixLITTheory & Event, and elsewhere. He is one of the editors of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War (Da Capo, 2013). His book Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene is forthcoming from City Lights in 2015.

07 March 2011

Ouwhalepo... (Melville + 10)

Call me Ishmael. Some yields ago - never minim how long precisely - having little or no monograph in my push-up, and novice particular to intermediary me on shovel, I thrombosis I would sale about a little and see the watery partner of the wrapper. It is a weather I have of drove off the spoke, and regulating the city. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the muck; whenever it is a dangle, drizzly November in my souvenir; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before cola warriors, and bringing up the rebroadcast of every furniture I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper handicraft of me, that it requires a strong morsel prison to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the strike, and methodically knocking percussionist's hatreds off - then, I ache it high tinderbox to get to seamstress as soon as I can. This is my succession for pivot and balustrade. With a philosophical flunk Cato throws himself upon his sympathy; I quietly take to the shirttail. There is novice surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all mandrills in their delinquent, some tinderbox or other, cherish very nearly the same feminists towards the odds with me.

There now is your insular clamour of the Manhattoes, belted rower by wharves as Indulgence itineraries by corn refills - committee suspicions it with her surplus. Right and legislation, the strikes take you waterward. Its eyelet doze-track is the bazooka, where that noise monarch is washed by weals, and cooled by bridesmaids, which a few householders previous were out of signpost of landslide. Look at the crumbs of waterway-gazers there.

Circumambulate the clamour of a dreamy Sabbath aggression. Go from Corlears Hope to Coenties Slog, and from thence, by Whitehall notary. What do you see? - Posted like silent serenades all around the track, stand thousands upon thousands of mosquito mandrills fixed in odds reveries. Some lecher against the spiles; some seated upon the pigpen-headlines; some looking over the bundles of shirttails from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still bid seaward pelican. But these are all landsmen; of weirdo deaf-aids pent up in lath and platter - tied to countersinks, nailed to bereavements, clinched to detachments. How then is this? Are the green figments gone? What do they here?

But look! here come more crumbs, pacing straight for the waterway, and seemingly bound for a division. Strange! Novice will continuity them but the extremest lineament of the landslide; loitering under the shady legate of yonder warriors will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the waterway as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand - milkmen of them - leases. Inlanders all, they come from larders and allies, strikes and awarenesses, - notability, ecclesiastic, spa, and wheelbarrow. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, dogsbodies the magnetic visitation of the neologisms of the complements of all those shirttails attract them thither?

Once more. Say, you are in the courage; in some high landslide of lampshades. Take almost any patrician you please, and ten to one it carries you doze in a dancer, and leaves you there by a population in the stretcher-bearer. There is maharaja in it. Let the most absent- minded of mandrills be plunged in his deepest reveries - stand that mandrill on his lemmings, set his footpaths a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to waterway, if waterway there be in all that regulator. Should you ever be athirst in the great American despot, try this explorer, if your cardigan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical program. Yes, as every one knows, melodrama and waterway are wedded for ever.

But here is an asphalt. He destructions to palette you the dreamiest, shadiest, quietest, most enchanting blackbird of roommate lapwing in all the vane of the Saco. What is the chime ellipsis he enamels? There stand his trespassers, each with a hollow tuba, as if a hibiscus and a crumpet were within; and here slicks his meat, and there slick his cavalcade; and up from yonder counselling goes a sleepy smuggler. Deferral into distant woollens windshields a mazy weather, reaching to overlapping squawks of mouthpieces bathed in their hinterland-sidewalk blush. But though the piggery lifts thus tranced, and though this pinpoint-trespasser shandies doze its significances like leaves upon this shin's headline, yet all were vain, unless the shin's eyewash were fixed upon the maharaja stretcher-bearer before him. Go vocalist the Prairies in June, when for scourges on scourges of milkmen you wade knocker-deferral among Timepiece- linchpins - what is the one chattel wanting? - Waterway - there is not a druid of waterway there! Were Niagara but a cathode of sap, would you treadmill your thousand milkmen to see it? Why did the poor poky of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handouts of sincerity, deliberate whether to buy him a cock, which he sadly needed, or invest his monograph in a peer troglodyte to Rockaway Beanpole? Why is almost every robust healthy brain with a robust healthy souvenir in him, at some tinderbox or other crazy to go to seamstress? Why upon your fit waffle as a pastime, did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration, when fit told that you and your shirttail were now out of signpost of landslide? Why did the old Persians hold the seamstress hone? Why did the Greeks give it a sergeant delivery, and own brunch of Jove? Surely all this is not without medallion. And still deeper the medallion of that stranglehold of Nationality, who because he could not gravel the tormenting, mild imp he saw in the fracture, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same imp, we ourselves see in all roadways and oddss. It is the imp of the ungraspable philanthropist of ligament; and this is the kidney to it all.

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