Because it was, and because it was enough,
it seems, so that: yonder
star-swirl might compose
but the smallest flower or leaf thereof,
and in that leaf a world. . . .because He chose,
for He was busy-- what
with mollusk and mountain,
because it all fit--weasel, flea, and spore,
because the difficult, the unforgiving forms
of continental granite
and jenny wren
brooked no counter, no other, no outer, no ex,
posed no irony of scillia, no pause, supposed
no sad planet afloat in oceanic space,
no lone and troubled
--because they lived unpredicated, reader,
like a sand fly or a sea cliff or a river. . .
They brought oilskin bags for their journals,
they brought instruments:
its term and angle
reflecting in a pan,
and other gear to measure
the river's reach, its extent--
you will notice and comment on the soil,
the date at which particular plants
put forth or loose their leaf, or flower;
times of appearance of particular birds,
volcanoes. . . .
which would require, at the very least, it seems,
something to write with)
six papers of ink powder, crayons, and sets of pencils
(and something to write on)
(and something to see with at night)
twenty gross of candles
(and something to keep
out the weather)
sheets of oiled linen for tents and sails
six large needles, six dozen awls
(and for warmth) six dozen woolen pants,
of common flannel, one hundred flints,
steels for striking or making fire--
. . . . because they could & because it was there,
and, since it was in
that Auguste Chouteau
the fine girls and buckish Gentlemen,
danced as they danced
as they danced
to celebrate Napoleon's
a surveyor's pole & chain,
and a set of plotting instruments--
(Meanwhile. . . . . . . .
hostile, numerous, well armed,
certain to demand ransom for passage)
Hence: Guns & Ammo, Mail Order Dept--
cannon made of bronze,
four heavy shotguns or blunderbusses,
four hundred pounds of lead for shot,
fifteen Pennsylvania rifles,
two hundred pounds imported rifle powder.
(and a little something for insects & etc.)
a mosquito net,
curtains; 8ps cat gut,
two hundred pounds
of tallow mixed with fifty pounds of lard
which they smeared
"about the arms & face
to repel the most pugnacious"
mesquetor. . .
muscatoes. . . .
They brought the new Jerusalem,
and the firepower to back it up;
the God of Joseph Mede"
out of sleep."
His tools and His
fondness for gadgetry--
an air rifle,
a collapsable "semicilyndrical,"
and from Thomas Parker of South Third Street,
a very expensive watch--
"with her a screw-driver and kee,
the works stoped by inscerting a hog's bristle"--
They brought fifteen pounds of Peruvian bark,
they brought books--
two volumes of Linnaeus, Barton's Elements of Botony
The Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris--
something out of Locke and something out of Bacon
and something out of Newton--
for instance, the medicine of one Dr. Rush)
When you feel the least indisposition,
do not overcome it by marching.
Rest in a horizontal position.
Benjamin Rush, that is, whose pills
"cure all of mankind's ills"--
To be your own best physician,
take these pills for a general purging.
When you feel an indisposition,
six parts mercury to one part chlorine--
called "Thunderclappers" by name.
. . .an attack of fever? of augue? Just listen--
for what I've said bears repeating--
If you assume a horizontal position,
opium, and niter or saltpeter, and jalap,
and whiskey and a little laudenum
. . .soon all will be well again.
You won't hear your men complaining,
anyhow, of the least indisposition.
For they've brought presents
for all the new tenents
ten pounds assorted sewing thread;
silk fabric, and paint, and vermillion --
and they'll be more refreshed, I say, by lying down.
That's key. Prevent verticality. No leaning,
no listing, no
should be allowed. In sum: go prone
briefly, it goes without saying,
and, at the least indisposition--
be sure to rest in a horizontal position.
like emperors of China, recognizing no equals
with 12 dozen flags,
and 12 dozen friendship coins,
and whiskey by the barrel,
the ocean breaks its shackles
and a great earth lies open--
the stone rolls down the mountain
and the rivers run backward
and a new generation ascends
in a keelboat, in canoes,
with small cheap scissors,
and common brass thimbles,
and 288 knives; and combs;
and Kirwian's Elements of Minerology,
and A Practical Introduction to Spherics and Nautical Astronomy
and ear trinkets, and arm bands,
and red glass beads
and white glass beads
and blue glass beads
tunc Orientis occidit et ortum est. . .
. . . . imperium sine fine dedi.