19 Apr 2009

Sexus, Henry Miller, Vol. 1, pp.14a-16a

[A summary through sometimes-censored citation.]

Henry Miller

Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion

Volume One

pp. 14a-16a

Last night the protagonist waited all evening for his new lover. She never showed. He went home to sleep.
Sunday morning. I awaken fresh as a daisy. The world lies before me, unconquered, unsullied, virgin as the Arctic zones. (14a)
He decides he will just go to her home and ring for her.
Here I am, take me or stab me to death. Stab the heart, stab the brain, stab the lungs, the kidneys, the viscera, the eyes, the ears. If only one organ be left alive you are doomed doomed to be mine, forever, in this world and the next and all the worlds to come. I'm a desperado of love, a scalper, a slayer. I'm insatiable. I eat hair, dirty wax, dry blood clots, anything and everything you call yours. (14bc)
He travels toward her residence, and affirms his chances.
I believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ his only begotten Son, in the blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Ghost, in Adam Cadmium, in chrome nickel, the oxides and the mercurichromes, in water-fowls and water0cress, in epileptoid seizures, in bubonic plagues, in Devachan, in planetary conjunctions, in chicken tracks and stick throwing, in revolutions, in stock crashes, in wars, earthquakes, cyclones, in Kali Yuga and in hula-hula. I believe. I believe. I believe because not to believe is to become as lead, to lie prone and rigid, forever inert, to waste away. (14-15)
On his way, he sees no rural scenes, just signs of civilization.
Where are the beasts of the field, the crops, the manure, the roses that flower in the midst of corruption? I see railroad tracks, gas stations, cement blocks, iron girders, tall chimneys, automobile cemeteries, factories, warehouses, sweat shops, vacant lots. Not even a goat in sight. I see it all clearly and distinctly : it spells desolation, death, death everlasting. For thirty years now I have worn the iron cross of ignominious servitude, serving but not believing, working but taking no wages, resting but knowing no peace. Why should I believe that everything will suddenly change, just having her, just loving and being loved?
Nothing will be changed except myself.
As he nears her house, he sees some other woman hanging clothes in the back-yard. He does not want to encounter her, so he circles the block.
when I come again to the door she is gone. Somehow my courage too is gone. (15c)
He rings. A tall young man opens the door. She is not in. He does not know when she will be back.
Then good-bye and bang! The door is staring me in the face. Young man, you'll regret this. One day I'll return with a shot-gun and blow your t.֫·ˌ`֝·˖֗off... So that's it! Everybody on guard, everybody tipped off, everybody trained to be elusive and evasive. Miss Mara is never where she's expected to be, nor does anybody know where she might be expected to be. Miss Mara inhabits the airs: volcanic ash blown hither and thither by the Trade winds. (15-16)

Miller, Henry. Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion. New York: Grove Press, 1965.

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