January 19, 2009


The cascade-of-wow tone of the radios inaug. coverage made me think of Whitman, waiting for a glimpse of his beloved Lincoln, made me think of his wow-cascade end "So Long", from Songs of Parting, the deaths-head tail of Leaves of Grass, especially in it's middle, of its patriotism(s)(to misappropriate Lacan).

I announce natural persons to arise;
I announce justice triumphant;
I announce uncompromising liberty and equality;
I announce the justification of candor, and the justification of pride.

I announce that the identity of These States is a single identity only;
I announce the Union more and more compact, indissoluble;
I announce splendors and majesties to make all the previous politics of the earth insignificant.

I announce adhesiveness—I say it shall be limitless, unloosen’d;
I say you shall yet find the friend you were looking for.

I announce a man or woman coming—perhaps you are the one, (So long!)
I announce the great individual, fluid as Nature, chaste, affectionate, compassionate, fully armed.

American Patriotism c. 09 a cheap wine to get drunk on, but chug we will, fingers crossed for a re-tooled, not-as-shamefully-heinous (pleasepleaseplease) American imperium to be delivered like a baby in a basket. The collective longing for that "justification of pride" feels heavy and hubristic; the city on the hill lusts for bounty and redemption--it's a real need and a ridiculous one, equally. All that gimme is a dare.

Posted by jessica hopper at January 19, 2009 12:18 PM | TrackBack