However all in all , the story of a neighborhood in an affluent suburb with teenage girls disappearing and shattering secrets that come to light many years later make for a decent read. Aug 26, Melanie Lopata rated it liked it. I was bored for awhile but after the halfway point it got better and I did enjoy the plot twist and suspense towards the end.
Not a 5-star book in my opinion. Did not guess the outcome. Dec 20, Agnes Muscoreil rated it liked it. Not one of my favorites from Staub. Very few likeable characters and a drawn out storyline. Nov 12, M. Strawberry Reviews rated it really liked it Shelves: The writing style is nice and concise, with a interesting mix of characters and minor conflicts aside the major one, of course make for a very interesting tale while you wonder about just who some of the characters are and their motives.
I felt bad for Jenny because she lost her friend, but this was a rather thrilling book. I could not stop reading it and finding out just who was behind all the crap that was This was the first Wendy Corsi Straub book I had ever read, and I was not disappointed.
I could not stop reading it and finding out just who was behind all the crap that was going on, and just who on earth would want to hurt poor Jenny. The person who is after her A solid, thrilling and enjoyable read, two thumbs up! Apr 09, Jennifer rated it liked it. This book was ok, it had some swears that bothered me, and the story was suspenseful and intriguing.
But I have to say I figured out who the killer was in the beginning, I just hadn't figured out the motive. Just trying to figure out why made me keep reading and wondering until the end. I liked the way the book ended, I guess you could say I'm a sucker for happy endings. Overall I would say this was like reading a script for a soap opera with all the affairs and mix ups with birth parents, but I This book was ok, it had some swears that bothered me, and the story was suspenseful and intriguing.
Overall I would say this was like reading a script for a soap opera with all the affairs and mix ups with birth parents, but I liked how I could sort of relate to the moms in the book and how they felt about their physical appearances and worries over their children. Seriously though the author should be writing for soaps or television shows. Jun 12, Rhea rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book was what I'm coming to know as "classic Wendy Corsi Staub. This book was suspenseful and had twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Maybe it's because the author writes a lot of YA novels but books with teen characters are always so well done, though I think her teens seem a bit mature and insightful for their age or maybe I This book was what I'm coming to know as "classic Wendy Corsi Staub. Maybe it's because the author writes a lot of YA novels but books with teen characters are always so well done, though I think her teens seem a bit mature and insightful for their age or maybe I don't hang around such cognitively developed teens.
I highly recommend this book. Mar 22, Kimberly Kay Mcbride rated it really liked it. I would have given it five stars but I was kind of disappointed because I guessed who the killer was, just not why he or she was doing the slayings. This author never disappoints. I was actually muting my favorite tv shows so that I could read instead.
I love when a book is that good!! Jun 17, Dianna rated it liked it. Would have liked to give it a higher rating. The story was amazing with lots of twists and turns and very intense. However, there were a lot of mistakes, several of which made things a bit more confusing for a time, that apparently were missed by beta readers, or whoever was supposed to go over this before it went to the publisher. Aug 04, Molly marked it as abandoned. I really like Wendy Corsi Staub, and I'm a sucker for books set in Buffalo although I actually didn't know this one was until I started recognizing the names of the suburbs , but this one just didn't hold my interest at this particular time.
I might try it again in the fall, when I'm more in the mood for a thriller.
Dec 23, Lise rated it liked it. This was an okay read. Not the best by Corsi Staub in my opinion. There was the usual twist at the end, but I actually saw this one coming. There were also numerous typos - enough that it got annoying. Aug 27, Victoria rated it really liked it. A bit like a horror movie when you sense the scary part getting ready to happen So many twists and turns you never expect the ending. Apr 28, Donna rated it really liked it Shelves: Enjoyed this book - same plot as most of her own books.
Stressed out parents, kids in trouble. Did not figure out who was behind the murders until the end! Kept you wondering, since the story line pointed to several characters. Oct 11, Afsana rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed it and the culprit was a surprise and there were many possibilities- How secrets can have repercussions.
Light a nd fluffy. Feb 26, Nicole Smith rated it liked it. My friend talked me out of taking this book with me on my solo trip to Russia. I think that was a wise choice. It was a fast, intense read and I'm glad I didn't spend my time in Russia jumpy from the suspense or distracted from my surroundings. Staub definitely pulled some surprises over on me. Gonna have to read some more of hers Apr 16, Katrin rated it really liked it. Never saw this coming! I thought it was the priest gone mad. Never thought it was the cleaning lady. Jul 07, Ka Longenbach rated it it was amazing. I read this a few years ago.
This book is full of suspense and mystery. Nov 14, Christine rated it it was amazing. One of her best books to date! Apr 21, Janet York rated it liked it. I like her books. This was a good one with plenty of twists. Nov 06, MK rated it really liked it. Great read for the Halloween season -- it kept me turning the pages! I've passed it on to others, and they've loved it as well: Jan 01, Abra rated it it was ok. I found this book way too predictable. It was an okay read, but nothing I'd read again. I couldn't relate to the characters and found it hard to get a perception of them in general.
- Complete Project Gutenberg Earl of Chesterfield Works.
- Revenge of the Orgasm (The Lust Series)?
- Melissa DiceNo (Italian Edition);
- Sacred Blood, Sacred Image.
Mar 25, Kate Allen rated it really liked it. My friend wrote this book I read this on a long flight and it made the time 'fly' by. Another good mystery by Wendy. Definitely check out her books! Jan 11, Michele Kersten-Hart rated it liked it. This was a good book. The young men float on their backs, their white bellies swell to the sun.
The butcher-boy puts off his killing-clothes, or sharpens his knife at the stall in the market, I loiter enjoying his repartee and his shuffle and breakdown. Blacksmiths with grimed and hairy chests environ the anvil, Each has his main-sledge. From the cinder-strewed threshold I follow their movements, The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive arms, Overhand the hammers roll -- overhand so slow -- overhand so sure, They do not hasten, each man hits in his place.
The negro holds firmly the reins of his four horses. I behold the picturesque giant and love him. In me the caresser of life wherever moving. Oxen that rattle the yoke or halt in the shade, what is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life. My tread scares the wood-drake and wood-duck on my distant and daylong ramble, They rise together, they slowly circle around. I believe in those winged purposes, And acknowledge the red yellow and white playing within me, And consider the green and violet and the tufted crown intentional; And do not call the tortoise unworthy because she is not something else, And the mockingbird in the swamp never studied the gamut, yet trills pretty well to me, And the look of the bay mare shames silliness out of me.
The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night, Ya-honk! The sharphoofed moose of the north, the cat on the housesill, the chickadee, the prairie-dog, The litter of the grunting sow as they tug at her teats, The brood of the turkeyhen, and she with her halfspread wings, I see in them and myself the same old law. The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections, They scorn the best I can do to relate them. I am enamoured of growing outdoors, Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods, Of the builders and steerers of ships, of the wielders of axes and mauls, of the drivers of horses, I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out.
What is commonest and cheapest and nearest and easiest is Me, Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns, Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me, Not asking the sky to come down to my goodwill, Scattering it freely forever. The pure contralto sings in the organloft, The carpenter dresses his plank. I love him though I do not know him; The half-breed straps on his light boots to compete in the race, The western turkey-shooting draws old and young. The drover watches his drove, he sings out to them that would stray, The pedlar sweats with his pack on his back -- the purchaser higgles about the odd cent, The camera and plate are prepared, the lady must sit for her daguerreotype, The bride unrumples her white dress, the minutehand of the clock moves slowly, The opium eater reclines with rigid head and just-opened lips, The prostitute draggles her shawl, her bonnet bobs on her tipsy and pimpled neck, The crowd laugh at her blackguard oaths, the men jeer and wink to each other, Miserable!
I do not laugh at your oaths nor jeer you, The President holds a cabinet council, he is surrounded by the great secretaries, On the piazza walk five friendly matrons with twined arms; The crew of the fish-smack pack repeated layers of halibut in the hold, The Missourian crosses the plains toting his wares and his cattle, The fare-collector goes through the train -- he gives notice by the jingling of loose change, The floormen are laying the floor -- the tinners are tinning the roof -- the masons are calling for mortar, In single file each shouldering his hod pass onward the laborers; Seasons pursuing each other the indescribable crowd is gathered.
Seasons pursuing each other the plougher ploughs and the mower mows and the wintergrain falls in the ground; Off on the lakes the pikefisher watches and waits by the hole in the frozen surface, The stumps stand thick round the clearing, the squatter strikes deep with his axe, The flatboatmen make fast toward dusk near the cottonwood or pekantrees, The coon-seekers go now through the regions of the Red river, or through those drained by the Tennessee, or through those of the Arkansas, The torches shine in the dark that hangs on the Chattahoochee or Altamahaw; Patriarchs sit at supper with sons and grandsons and great grandsons around them, In walls of adobe, in canvass tents, rest hunters and trappers after their day's sport.
The city sleeps and the country sleeps, The living sleep for their time. I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise, Regardless of others, ever regardful of others, Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man, Stuffed with the stuff that is coarse, and stuffed with the stuff that is fine, One of the great nation, the nation of many nations -- the smallest the same and the largest the same, A southerner soon as a northerner, a planter nonchalant and hospitable, A Yankee bound my own way.
I resist anything better than my own diversity, And breathe the air and leave plenty after me, And am not stuck up, and am in my place. The moth and the fisheggs are in their place, The suns I see and the suns I cannot see are in their place, The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place. These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing or next to nothing, If they do not enclose everything they are next to nothing, If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing, If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.
This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is, This is the common air that bathes the globe. This is the breath of laws and songs and behaviour, This is the the tasteless water of souls. This is the trill of a thousand clear cornets and scream of the octave flute and strike of triangles. I play not a march for victors only. I play great marches for conquered and slain persons. Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall. I sound triumphal drums for the dead.
I fling through my embouchures the loudest and gayest music to them, Vivas to those who have failed, and to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea, and those themselves who sank in the sea, And to all generals that lost engagements, and all overcome heroes, and the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known. This is the meal pleasantly set.
I make appointments with all, I will not have a single person slighted or left away, The keptwoman and sponger and thief are hereby invited. This is the press of a bashful hand. Do you guess I have some intricate purpose? Do you take it I would astonish? Does the daylight astonish? Do I astonish more than they? How is it I extract strength from the beef I eat?
What is a man anyhow? All I mark as my own you shall offset it with your own, Else it were time lost listening to me. I do not snivel that snivel the world over, That months are vacuums and the ground but wallow and filth, That life is a suck and a sell, and nothing remains at the end but threadbare crape and tears.
Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids. I have pried through the strata and analyzed to a hair, And counselled with doctors and calculated close and found no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones. In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barleycorn less, And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them. And I know I am solid and sound, To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow, All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.
And I know I am deathless, I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass, I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night. I know I am august, I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood, I see that the elementary laws never apologize, I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by after all. I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. One world is aware, and by far the largest to me, and that is myself, And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years, I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.
My foothold is tenoned and mortised in granite, I laugh at what you call dissolution, And I know the amplitude of time. The pleasures of heaven are with me, and the pains of hell are with me, The first I graft and increase upon myself. I am the poet of the woman the same as the man, And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man, And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men. I chant a new chant of dilation or pride, We have had ducking and deprecating about enough, I show that size is only developement.
Have you outstript the rest? Are you the President? It is a trifle. I am he that walks with the tender and growing night; I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night. Press close barebosomed night! Press close magnetic nourishing night! Night of south winds! Night of the large few stars! Mad naked summer night! Smile O voluptuous coolbreathed earth! Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees! Earth of departed sunset! Earth of the mountains misty-topt! Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue! Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river! Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!
Smile, for your lover comes! O unspeakable passionate love! Thruster holding me tight and that I hold tight! We hurt each other as the bridegroom and the bride hurt each other. I resign myself to you also. I guess what you mean, I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers, I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me; We must have a turn together.
I can repay you. Sea of stretched ground-swells! Sea breathing broad and convulsive breaths! Sea of the brine of life! Sea of unshovelled and always-ready graves! Howler and scooper of storms! Capricious and dainty sea! I am integral with you. I too am of one phase and of all phases. Partaker of influx and efflux. I am he attesting sympathy; Shall I make my list of things in the house and skip the house that supports them? I am the poet of commonsense and of the demonstrable and of immortality; And am not the poet of goodness only.
I do not decline to be the poet of wickedness also. What blurt is it about virtue and about vice? Evil propels me, and reform of evil propels me. I stand indifferent, My gait is no faultfinder's or rejecter's gait, I moisten the roots of all that has grown. Did you fear some scrofula out of the unflagging pregnancy? Did you guess the celestial laws are yet to be worked over and rectified?
I step up to say that what we do is right and what we affirm is right. What behaved well in the past or behaves well today is not such a wonder, The wonder is always and always how there can be a mean man or an infidel.
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A word of the faith that never balks, One time as good as another time. Hurrah for positive science! Long live exact demonstration! Fetch stonecrop and mix it with cedar and branches of lilac; This is the lexicographer or chemist. Gentlemen I receive you, and attach and clasp hands with you, The facts are useful and real. I enter by them to an area of the dwelling. I am less the reminder of property or qualities, and more the reminder of life, And go on the square for my own sake and for others' sakes, And make short account of neuters and geldings, and favor men and women fully equipped, And beat the gong of revolt, and stop with fugitives and them that plot and conspire.
Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos, Disorderly fleshy and sensual. Whoever degrades another degrades me. I speak the password primeval. I give the sign of democracy; By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms.
Through me many long dumb voices, Voices of the interminable generations of slaves, Voices of prostitutes and of deformed persons, Voices of the diseased and despairing, and of thieves and dwarfs, Voices of cycles of preparation and accretion, And of the threads that connect the stars -- and of wombs, and of the fatherstuff, And of the rights of them the others are down upon, Of the trivial and flat and foolish and despised, Of fog in the air and beetles rolling balls of dung.
Through me forbidden voices, Voices of sexes and lusts. I do not press my finger across my mouth, I keep as delicate around the bowels as around the head and heart, Copulation is no more rank to me than death is. I believe in the flesh and the appetites, Seeing hearing and feeling are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touched from; The scent of these arm-pits is aroma finer than prayer, This head is more than churches or bibles or creeds.
I dote on myself. I cannot tell how my ankles bend. To walk up my stoop is unaccountable. I pause to consider if it really be, That I eat and drink is spectacle enough for the great authors and schools, A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. To behold the daybreak! The little light fades the immense and diaphanous shadows, The air tastes good to my palate.
Hefts of the moving world at innocent gambols, silently rising, freshly exuding, Scooting obliquely high and low. The earth by the sky staid with. Dazzling and tremendous how quick the sunrise would kill me, If I could not now and always send sunrise out of me. We also ascend dazzling and tremendous as the sun, We found our own my soul in the calm and cool of the daybreak.
My voice goes after what my eyes cannot reach, With the twirl of my tongue I encompass worlds and volumes of worlds. Speech is the twin of my vision. It provokes me forever, It says sarcastically, Walt, you understand enough. Do you not know how the buds beneath are folded? Waiting in gloom protected by frost, The dirt receding before my prophetical screams, I underlying causes to balance them at last, My knowledge my live parts. Encompass worlds but never try to encompass me, I crowd your noisiest talk by looking toward you. Writing and talk do not prove me, I carry the plenum of proof and every thing else in my face, With the hush of my lips I confound the topmost skeptic.
I think I will do nothing for a long time but listen, And accrue what I hear into myself. I hear the bravuras of birds. I hear the sound of the human voice. I hear the violincello or man's heart's complaint, And hear the keyed cornet or else the echo of sunset. A tenor large and fresh as the creation fills me, The orbic flex of his mouth is pouring and filling me full. I hear the trained soprano. I dab with bare feet.
To be in any form, what is that? If nothing lay more developed the quahaug and its callous shell were enough. Mine is no callous shell, I have instant conductors all over me whether I pass or stop, They seize every object and lead it harmlessly through me. I merely stir, press, feel with my fingers, and am happy, To touch my person to some one else's is about as much as I can stand. Is this then a touch? The sentries desert every other part of me, They have left me helpless to a red marauder, They all come to the headland to witness and assist against me.
I am given up by traitors; I talk wildly. I have lost my wits. I and nobody else am the greatest traitor, I went myself first to the headland. Blind loving wrestling touch! Sheathed hooded sharptoothed touch! Did it make you ache so leaving me? Parting tracked by arriving. Sprouts take and accumulate. All truths wait in all things, They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it, They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon, The insignificant is as big to me as any, What is less or more than a touch?
A minute and a drop of me settle my brain; I believe the soggy clods shall become lovers and lamps, And a compend of compends is the meat of a man or woman, And a summit and flower there is the feeling they have for each other, And they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it becomes omnific, And until every one shall delight us, and we them. I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars, And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren, And the tree-toad is a chef-d'ouvre for the highest, And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven, And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery, And the cow crunching with depressed head surpasses any statue, And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels, And I could come every afternoon of my life to look at the farmer's girl boiling her iron tea-kettle and baking shortcake.
I find I incorporate gneiss and coal and long-threaded moss and fruits and grains and esculent roots, And am stucco'd with quadrupeds and birds all over, And have distanced what is behind me for good reasons, And call any thing close again when I desire it. In vain the speeding or shyness, In vain the plutonic rocks send their old heat against my approach, In vain the mastadon retreats beneath its own powdered bones, In vain objects stand leagues off and assume manifold shapes, In vain the ocean settling in hollows and the great monsters lying low, In vain the buzzard houses herself with the sky, In vain the snake slides through the creepers and logs, In vain the elk takes to the inner passes of the woods, In vain the razorbilled auk sails far north to Labrador, I follow quickly.
I ascend to the nest in the fissure of the cliff. I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied. So they show their relations to me and I accept them; They bring me tokens of myself. I do not know where they got those tokens, I must have passed that way untold times ago and negligently dropt them, Myself moving forward then and now and forever, Gathering and showing more always and with velocity, Infinite and omnigenous and the like of these among them; Not too exclusive toward the reachers of my remembrancers, Picking out here one that shall be my amie, Choosing to go with him on brotherly terms.
A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses, Head high in the forehead and wide between the ears, Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground, Eyes well apart and full of sparkling wickedness. I but use you a moment and then I resign you stallion. My ties and ballasts leave me. By the city's quadrangular houses. I visit the orchards of God and look at the spheric product, And look at quintillions ripened, and look at quintillions green.
I fly the flight of the fluid and swallowing soul, My course runs below the soundings of plummets. I anchor my ship for a little while only, My messengers continually cruise away or bring their returns to me. I go hunting polar furs and the seal. I ascend to the foretruck. I take my place late at night in the crow's nest. I fling out my fancies toward them; We are about approaching some great battlefield in which we are soon to be engaged, We pass the colossal outposts of the encampments.
I turn the bridegroom out of bed and stay with the bride myself, And tighten her all night to my thighs and lips. My voice is the wife's voice, the screech by the rail of the stairs, They fetch my man's body up dripping and drowned. I understand the large hearts of heroes, The courage of present times and all times; How the skipper saw the crowded and rudderless wreck of the steamship, and death chasing it up and down the storm, How he knuckled tight and gave not back one inch, and was faithful of days and faithful of nights, And chalked in large letters on a board, Be of good cheer, We will not desert you; How he saved the drifting company at last, How the lank loose-gowned women looked when boated from the side of their prepared graves, How the silent old-faced infants, and the lifted sick, and the sharp-lipped unshaved men; All this I swallow and it tastes good.
I like it well, and it becomes mine, I am the man.
The disdain and calmness of martyrs, The mother condemned for a witch and burnt with dry wood, and her children gazing on; The hounded slave that flags in the race and leans by the fence, blowing and covered with sweat, The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck, The murderous buckshot and the bullets, All these I feel or am. I am the hounded slave. I wince at the bite of the dogs, Hell and despair are upon me. Agonies are one of my changes of garments; I do not ask the wounded person how he feels. I myself become the wounded person, My hurt turns livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe.
I am the mashed fireman with breastbone broken. I heard the yelling shouts of my comrades, I heard the distant click of their picks and shovels; They have cleared the beams away. I lie in the night air in my red shirt. Distant and dead resuscitate, They show as the dial or move as the hands of me. Again the reveille of drummers.
I see and hear the whole, The cries and curses and roar. Again gurgles the mouth of my dying general. I tell not the fall of Alamo. Hear now the tale of a jetblack sunrise, Hear of the murder in cold blood of four hundred and twelve young men. Retreating they had formed in a hollow square with their baggage for breastworks, Nine hundred lives out of the surrounding enemy's nine times their number was the price they took in advance, Their colonel was wounded and their ammunition gone, They treated for an honorable capitulation, received writing and seal, gave up their arms, and marched back prisoners of war.
They were the glory of the race of rangers, Matchless with a horse, a rifle, a song, a supper or a courtship, Large, turbulent, brave, handsome, generous, proud and affectionate, Bearded, sunburnt, dressed in the free costume of hunters, Not a single one over thirty years of age. The second Sunday morning they were brought out in squads and massacred. None obeyed the command to kneel, Some made a mad and helpless rush. At eleven o'clock began the burning of the bodies; And that is the tale of the murder of the four hundred and twelve young men, And that was a jetblack sunrise.
Did you read in the seabooks of the oldfashioned frigate-fight? Did you learn who won by the light of the moon and stars? Our foe was no skulk in his ship, I tell you, His was the English pluck, and there is no tougher or truer, and never was, and never will be; Along the lowered eve he came, horribly raking us. We closed with him. We had received some eighteen-pound shots under the water, On our lower-gun-deck two large pieces had burst at the first fire, killing all around and blowing up overhead.
Ten o'clock at night, and the full moon shining and the leaks on the gain, and five feet of water reported, The master-at-arms loosing the prisoners confined in the after-hold to give them a chance for themselves. The transit to and from the magazine was now stopped by the sentinels, They saw so many strange faces they did not know whom to trust. Our frigate was afire.
I laughed content when I heard the voice of my little captain, We have not struck, he composedly cried, We have just begun our part of the fighting. Only three guns were in use, One was directed by the captain himself against the enemy's mainmast, Two well-served with grape and canister silenced his musketry and cleared his decks. The tops alone seconded the fire of this little battery, especially the maintop, They all held out bravely during the whole of the action. Not a moment's cease, The leaks gained fast on the pumps. Serene stood the little captain, He was not hurried.
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Stretched and still lay the midnight, Two great hulls motionless on the breast of the darkness, Our vessel riddled and slowly sinking. My fit is mastering me! What the rebel said gaily adjusting his throat to the rope-noose, What the savage at the stump, his eye-sockets empty, his mouth spirting whoops and defiance, What stills the traveler come to the vault at Mount Vernon, What sobers the Brooklyn boy as he looks down the shores of the Wallabout and remembers the prison ships, What burnt the gums of the redcoat at Saratoga when he surrendered his brigades, These become mine and me every one, and they are but little, I become as much more as I like.
I become any presence or truth of humanity here, And see myself in prison shaped like another man, And feel the dull unintermitted pain. For me the keepers of convicts shoulder their carbines and keep watch, It is I let out in the morning and barred at night. Not a mutineer walks handcuffed to the jail, but I am handcuffed to him and walk by his side, I am less the jolly one there, and more the silent one with sweat on my twitching lips. Not a cholera patient lies at the last gasp, but I also lie at the last gasp, My face is ash-colored, my sinews gnarl.
Askers embody themselves in me, and I am embodied in them, I project my hat and sit shamefaced and beg. I rise extatic through all, and sweep with the true gravitation, The whirling and whirling is elemental within me. Somehow I have been stunned. Give me a little time beyond my cuffed head and slumbers and dreams and gaping, I discover myself on a verge of the usual mistake. That I could forget the mockers and insults! That I could forget the trickling tears and the blows of the bludgeons and hammers! That I could look with a separate look on my own crucifixion and bloody crowning!
I resume the overstaid fraction, The grave of rock multiplies what has been confided to it. I troop forth replenished with supreme power, one of an average unending procession, We walk the roads of Ohio and Massachusetts and Virginia and Wisconsin and New York and New Orleans and Texas and Montreal and San Francisco and Charleston and Savannah and Mexico, Inland and by the seacoast and boundary lines.
Our swift ordinances are on their way over the whole earth, The blossoms we wear in our hats are the growth of two thousand years. Eleves I salute you, I see the approach of your numberless gangs. I see you understand yourselves and me, And know that they who have eyes are divine, and the blind and lame are equally divine, And that my steps drag behind yours yet go before them, And are aware how I am with you no more than I am with everybody.
The friendly and flowing savage. Is he waiting for civilization or past it and mastering it? Is he some southwesterner raised outdoors? Is he from the Mississippi country? Wherever he goes men and women accept and desire him, They desire he should like them and touch them and speak to them and stay with them.
Behaviour lawless as snow-flakes. Flaunt of the sunshine I need not your bask. I force the surfaces and the depths also. I might tell how I like you, but cannot, And might tell what it is in me and what it is in you, but cannot, And might tell the pinings I have. You there, impotent, loose in the knees, open your scarfed chops till I blow grit within you, Spread your palms and lift the flaps of your pockets, I am not to be denied.
I have stores plenty and to spare, And any thing I have I bestow. I do not ask who you are. To a drudge of the cottonfields or emptier of privies I lean. On women fit for conception I start bigger and nimbler babes, This day I am jetting the stuff of far more arrogant republics. To any one dying. O despairer, here is my neck, By God!
Hang your whole weight upon me. I dilate you with tremendous breath. I buoy you up; Every room of the house do I fill with an armed force. I and they keep guard all night; Not doubt, not decease shall dare to lay finger upon you, I have embraced you, and henceforth possess you to myself, And when you rise in the morning you will find what I tell you is so. I am he bringing help for the sick as they pant on their backs, And for strong upright men I bring yet more needed help.
I heard what was said of the universe, Heard it and heard of several thousand years; It is middling well as far as it goes. Magnifying and applying come I, Outbidding at the start the old cautious hucksters, The most they offer for mankind and eternity less than a spirt of my own seminal wet, Taking myself the exact dimensions of Jehovah and laying them away, Lithographing Kronos and Zeus his son, and Hercules his grandson, Buying drafts of Osiris and Isis and Belus and Brahma and Adonai, In my portfolio placing Manito loose, and Allah on a leaf, and the crucifix engraved, With Odin, and the hideous-faced Mexitli, and all idols and images, Honestly taking them all for what they are worth, and not a cent more, Admitting they were alive and did the work of their day, Admitting they bore mites as for unfledged birds who have now to rise and fly and sing for themselves, Accepting the rough deific sketches to fill out better in myself.
What was strewn in the amplest strewing the square rod about me, and not filling the square rod then; The bull and the bug never worshipped half enough, Dung and dirt more admirable than was dreamed, The supernatural of no account. Putting myself here and now to the ambushed womb of the shadows! Come my children, Come my boys and girls, and my women and household and intimates, Now the performer launches his nerve.
My head evolves on my neck, Music rolls, but not from the organ. Ever the hard and unsunk ground, Ever the eaters and drinkers. Here and there with dimes on the eyes walking, To feed the greed of the belly the brains liberally spooning, Tickets buying or taking or selling, but in to the feast never once going; Many sweating and ploughing and thrashing, and then the chaff for payment receiving, A few idly owning, and they the wheat continually claiming.
This is the city. They who piddle and patter here in collars and tailed coats. I am aware who they are. The weakest and shallowest is deathless with me, What I do and say the same waits for them, Every thought that flounders in me the same flounders in them. I know perfectly well my own egotism, And know my omniverous words, and cannot say any less, And would fetch you whoever you are flush with myself. My words are words of a questioning, and to indicate reality; This printed and bound book.
The marriage estate and settlement. The panorama of the sea. The fleet of ships of the line and all the modern improvements. The dishes and fare and furniture. The sky up there. The saints and sages in history. Sermons and creeds and theology. I do not despise you priests; My faith is the greatest of faiths and the least of faiths, Enclosing all worship ancient and modern, and all between ancient and modern, Believing I shall come again upon the earth after five thousand years, Waiting responses from oracles. One of that centripetal and centrifugal gang, I turn and talk like a man leaving charges before a journey.
Down-hearted doubters, dull and excluded, Frivolous sullen moping angry affected disheartened atheistical, I know every one of you, and know the unspoken interrogatories, By experience I know them. How the flukes splash! How they contort rapid as lightning, with spasms and spouts of blood! Be at peace bloody flukes of doubters and sullen mopers, I take my place among you as much as among any; The past is the push of you and me and all precisely the same, And the night is for you and me and all, And what is yet untried and afterward is for you and me and all.
I do not know what is untried and afterward, But I know it is sure and alive, and sufficient. Each who passes is considered, and each who stops is considered, and not a single one can it fail. It cannot fail the young man who died and was buried, Nor the young woman who died and was put by his side, Nor the little child that peeped in at the door and then drew back and was never seen again, Nor the old man who has lived without purpose, and feels it with bitterness worse than gall, Nor him in the poorhouse tubercled by rum and the bad disorder, Nor the numberless slaughtered and wrecked.
Eternity lies in bottomless reservoirs. We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers; There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them. Births have brought us richness and variety, And other births will bring us richness and variety. I do not call one greater and one smaller, That which fills its period and place is equal to any.
Were mankind murderous or jealous upon you my brother or my sister? I am sorry for you. I keep no account with lamentation; What have I to do with lamentation? My feet strike an apex of the apices of the stairs, On every step bunches of ages, and larger bunches between the steps, All below duly traveled -- and still I mount and mount. Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me, Afar down I see the huge first Nothing, the vapor from the nostrils of death, I know I was even there. I waited unseen and always, And slept while God carried me through the lethargic mist, And took my time.
Immense have been the preparations for me, Faithful and friendly the arms that have helped me. Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful boatmen; For room to me stars kept aside in their own rings, They sent influences to look after what was to hold me. Before I was born out of my mother generations guided me, My embryo has never been torpid.
All forces have been steadily employed to complete and delight me, Now I stand on this spot with my soul. My lovers suffocate me! Crowding my lips, and thick in the pores of my skin, Jostling me through streets and public halls. Every condition promulges not only itself.
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I open my scuttle at night and see the far-sprinkled systems, And all I see, multiplied as high as I can cipher, edge but the rim of the farther systems. Wider and wider they spread, expanding and always expanding, Outward and outward and forever outward. My sun has his sun, and round him obediently wheels, He joins with his partners a group of superior circuit, And greater sets follow, making specks of the greatest inside them. There is no stoppage, and never can be stoppage; If I and you and the worlds and all beneath or upon their surfaces, and all the palpable life, were this moment reduced back to a pallid float, it would not avail in the long run, We should surely bring up again where we now stand, And as surely go as much farther, and then farther and farther.
A few quadrillions of eras, a few octillions of cubic leagues, do not hazard the span, or make it impatient, They are but parts. See ever so far. Our rendezvous is fitly appointed. God will be there and wait till we come. I know I have the best of time and space -- and that I was never measured, and never will be measured. I tramp a perpetual journey, My signs are a rain-proof coat and good shoes and a staff cut from the woods; No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair, I have no chair, nor church nor philosophy; I lead no man to a dinner-table or library or exchange, But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll, My left hand hooks you round the waist, My right hand points to landscapes of continents, and a plain public road.
It is not far. Shoulder your duds, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth; Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go. If you tire, give me both burdens, and rest the chuff of your hand on my hip, And in due time you shall repay the same service to me; For after we start we never lie by again. This day before dawn I ascended a hill and looked at the crowded heaven, And I said to my spirit, When we become the enfolders of those orbs and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be filled and satisfied then?
And my spirit said No, we level that lift to pass and continue beyond. You are also asking me questions, and I hear you; I answer that I cannot answer. Sit awhile wayfarer, Here are biscuits to eat and here is milk to drink, But as soon as you sleep and renew yourself in sweet clothes I will certainly kiss you with my goodbye kiss and open the gate for your egress hence. Long enough have you dreamed contemptible dreams, Now I wash the gum from your eyes, You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life. Long have you timidly waded, holding a plank by the shore, Now I will you to be a bold swimmer, To jump off in the midst of the sea, and rise again and nod to me and shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
I am the teacher of athletes, He that by me spreads a wider breast than my own proves the width of my own, He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. The boy I love, the same becomes a man not through derived power but in his own right, Wicked, rather than virtuous out of conformity or fear, Fond of his sweetheart, relishing well his steak, Unrequited love or a slight cutting him worse than a wound cuts, First rate to ride, to fight, to hit the bull's eye, to sail a skiff, to sing a song or play on the banjo, Preferring scars and faces pitted with smallpox over all latherers and those that keep out of the sun.
I teach straying from me, yet who can stray from me? I follow you whoever you are from the present hour; My words itch at your ears till you understand them. I do not say these things for a dollar, or to fill up the time while I wait for a boat; It is you talking just as much as myself. I act as the tongue of you, It was tied in your mouth. I swear I will never mention love or death inside a house, And I swear I never will translate myself at all, only to him or her who privately stays with me in the open air. If you would understand me go to the heights or water-shore, The nearest gnat is an explanation and a drop or the motion of waves a key, The maul the oar and the handsaw second my words.
No shuttered room or school can commune with me, But roughs and little children better than they. The young mechanic is closest to me. I go with fishermen and seamen, and love them, My face rubs to the hunter's face when he lies down alone in his blanket, The driver thinking of me does not mind the jolt of his wagon, The young mother and old mother shall comprehend me, The girl and the wife rest the needle a moment and forget where they are, They and all would resume what I have told them.
I have said that the soul is not more than the body, And I have said that the body is not more than the soul, And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one's-self is, And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral, dressed in his shroud, And I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick of the earth, And to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times, And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero, And there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheeled universe, And any man or woman shall stand cool and supercilious before a million universes.
And I call to mankind, Be not curious about God, For I who am curious about each am not curious about God, No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God and about death. I hear and behold God in every object, yet I understand God not in the least, Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself. Why should I wish to see God better than this day? I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then, In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass; I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God's name, And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will punctually come forever and ever.
To his work without flinching the accoucheur comes, I see the elderhand pressing receiving supporting, I recline by the sills of the exquisite flexible doors. And as to you corpse I think you are good manure, but that does not offend me, I smell the white roses sweetscented and growing, I reach to the leafy lips. I reach to the polished breasts of melons. And as to you life, I reckon you are the leavings of many deaths, No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before.
I hear you whispering there O stars of heaven, O suns. O grass of graves. O perpetual transfers and promotions. Of the turbid pool that lies in the autumn forest, Of the moon that descends the steeps of the soughing twilight, Toss, sparkles of day and dusk. I ascend from the moon. I ascend from the night, And perceive of the ghastly glitter the sunbeams reflected, And debouch to the steady and central from the offspring great or small. I do not know it. Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on, To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me. Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death. The past and present wilt. I have filled them and emptied them, And proceed to fill my next fold of the future. Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening, Talk honestly, for no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer. Do I contradict myself? I contradict myself; I am large. Who has done his day's work and will soonest be through with his supper?
Who wishes to walk with me? I too am not a bit tamed. I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. The last scud of day holds back for me, It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadowed wilds, It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk. I depart as air. I shake my white locks at the runaway sun, I effuse my flesh in eddies and drift it in lacy jags. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to you nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop some where waiting for you. Come closer to me, Push close my lovers and take the best I possess, Yield closer and closer and give me the best you possess.
This is unfinished business with me. I was chilled with the cold types and cylinder and wet paper between us. I do not thank you for liking me as I am, and liking the touch of me. I know that it is good for you to do so. Were all educations practical and ornamental well displayed out of me, what would it amount to? Were I as the head teacher or charitable proprietor or wise statesman, what would it amount to?
Were I to you as the boss employing and paying you, would that satisfy you? The learned and virtuous and benevolent, and the usual terms; A man like me, and never the usual terms. Neither a servant nor a master am I, I take no sooner a large price than a small price. I will have my own whoever enjoys me, I will be even with you, and you shall be even with me. If you are a workman or workwoman I stand as nigh as the nighest that works in the same shop, If you bestow gifts on your brother or dearest friend, I demand as good as your brother or dearest friend, If your lover or husband or wife is welcome by day or night, I must be personally as welcome; If you have become degraded or ill, then I will become so for your sake; If you remember your foolish and outlawed deeds, do you think I cannot remember my foolish and outlawed deeds?
If you carouse at the table I say I will carouse at the opposite side of the table; If you meet some stranger in the street and love him or her, do I not often meet strangers in the street and love them? If you see a good deal remarkable in me I see just as much remarkable in you. Why what have you thought of yourself? Is it you then that thought yourself less? Is it you that thought the President greater than you?
Because you are greasy or pimpled -- or that you was once drunk, or a thief, or diseased, or rheumatic, or a prostitute -- or are so now -- or from frivolity or impotence -- or that you are no scholar, and never saw your name in print. Souls of men and women! I see not merely that you are polite or whitefaced. Esquimaux in the dark cold snowhouse. Chinese with his transverse eyes. Bedowee -- or wandering nomad -- or tabounschik at the head of his droves, Grown, half-grown, and babe -- of this country and every country, indoors and outdoors I see.
The wife -- and she is not one jot less than the husband, The daughter -- and she is just as good as the son, The mother -- and she is every bit as much as the father. Offspring of those not rich -- boys apprenticed to trades, Young fellows working on farms and old fellows working on farms; The naive. I bring what you much need, yet always have, I bring not money or amours or dress or eating.
There is something that comes home to one now and perpetually, It is not what is printed or preached or discussed. What is there ready and near you now? You may read in many languages and read nothing about it; You may read the President's message and read nothing about it there, Nothing in the reports from the state department or treasury department. The sun and stars that float in the open air. The light and shade -- the curious sense of body and identity -- the greed that with perfect complaisance devours all things -- the endless pride and outstretching of man -- unspeakable joys and sorrows, The wonder every one sees in every one else he sees.
Have you reckoned the landscape took substance and form that it might be painted in a picture? Or men and women that they might be written of, and songs sung? Or the attraction of gravity and the great laws and harmonious combinations and the fluids of the air as subjects for the savans? Or the brown land and the blue sea for maps and charts?
Or the stars to be put in constellations and named fancy names? Or that the growth of seeds is for agricultural tables or agriculture itself? Will we rate our prudence and business so high? I have no objection, I rate them as high as the highest. We thought our Union grand and our Constitution grand; I do not say they are not grand and good -- for they are, I am this day just as much in love with them as you, But I am eternally in love with you and with all my fellows upon the earth.
We consider the bibles and religions divine. I do not say they are not divine, I say they have all grown out of you and may grow out of you still, It is not they who give the life. The sum of all known value and respect I add up in you whoever you are; The President is up there in the White House for you. All doctrines, all politics and civilization exurge from you, All sculpture and monuments and anything inscribed anywhere are tallied in you, The gist of histories and statistics as far back as the records reach is in you this hour -- and myths and tales the same; If you were not breathing and walking here where would they all be?
The most renowned poems would be ashes. All architecture is what you do to it when you look upon it; Did you think it was in the white or gray stone? All music is what awakens from you when you are reminded by the instruments, It is not the violins and the cornets. Will the whole come back then? Can each see the signs of the best by a look in the lookingglass? Is there nothing greater or more? Does all sit there with you and here with me? The old forever new things. The panes of the windows and all that appears through them.
The snowstorm or rainstorm. The bearhunt or coonhunt. The column of wants in the one-cent paper. The cotton and woolen and linen you wear. I do not affirm what you see beyond is futile. I do not advise you to stop, I do not say leadings you thought great are not great, But I say that none lead to greater or sadder or happier than those lead to.
Will you seek afar off? You surely come back at last, In things best known to you finding the best or as good as the best, In folks nearest to you finding also the sweetest and strongest and lovingest, Happiness not in another place, but this place. Woman in your mother or lover or wife, And all else thus far known giving place to men and women.
When the psalm sings instead of the singer, When the script preaches instead of the preacher, When the pulpit descends and goes instead of the carver that carved the supporting desk, When the sacred vessels or the bits of the eucharist, or the lath and plast, procreate as effectually as the young silversmiths or bakers, or the masons in their overalls, When a university course convinces like a slumbering woman and child convince, When the minted gold in the vault smiles like the nightwatchman's daughter, When warrantee deeds loafe in chairs opposite and are my friendly companions, I intend to reach them my hand and make as much of them as I do of men and women.
To think of time. Have you guessed you yourself would not continue?
Kiss Her Goodbye: An Otto Penzler Book
Have you dreaded those earth-beetles? Have you feared the future would be nothing to you? Is the beginningless past nothing? If the future is nothing they are just as surely nothing. To think that the sun rose in the east. Not a day passes. When the dull nights are over, and the dull days also, When the soreness of lying so much in bed is over, When the physician, after long putting off, gives the silent and terrible look for an answer, When the children come hurried and weeping, and the brothers and sisters have been sent for, When medicines stand unused on the shelf, and the camphor-smell has pervaded the rooms, When the faithful hand of the living does not desert the hand of the dying, When the twitching lips press lightly on the forehead of the dying, When the breath ceases and the pulse of the heart ceases, Then the corpse-limbs stretch on the bed, and the living look upon them, They are palpable as the living are palpable.
The living look upon the corpse with their eyesight, But without eyesight lingers a different living and looks curiously on the corpse. To think that the rivers will come to flow, and the snow fall, and fruits ripen. To think how eager we are in building our houses, To think others shall be just as eager.
I see one building the house that serves him a few years. Slowmoving and black lines creep over the whole earth. Cold dash of waves at the ferrywharf, Posh and ice in the river. Rapid the trot to the cemetery, Duly rattles the deathbell. He was a goodfellow, Freemouthed, quicktempered, not badlooking, able to take his own part, Witty, sensitive to a slight, ready with life or death for a friend, Fond of women,. Thumb extended or finger uplifted, Apron, cape, gloves, strap. The markets, the government, the workingman's wages. The vulgar and the refined.
To think how much pleasure there is! Have you pleasure from looking at the sky? Have you pleasure from poems? Do you enjoy yourself in the city? Or with your mother and sisters? These also flow onward to others. Your farm and profits and crops. What will be will be well -- for what is is well, To take interest is well, and not to take interest shall be well.
The sky continues beautiful. You are not thrown to the winds. Yourself forever and ever! It is not to diffuse you that you were born of your mother and father -- it is to identify you, It is not that you should be undecided, but that you should be decided; Something long preparing and formless is arrived and formed in you, You are thenceforth secure, whatever comes or goes.
The threads that were spun are gathered. The preparations have every one been justified; The orchestra have tuned their instruments sufficiently. The guest that was coming. The law of the past cannot be eluded. The law of the present and future cannot be eluded, The law of the living cannot be eluded.
Slowmoving and black lines go ceaselessly over the earth, Northerner goes carried and southerner goes carried. The great masters and kosmos are well as they go.