As UD‘s metro train, yesterday afternoon, lifted itself out of the tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue and ran above Rock Creek Park, UD looked down and saw thick brown water heaving past the creek’s banks. Croppings of wildflowers barely showed through the flood, and the sycamores were all shaken up. UD was shaken. This scene, usually a calm span of green between the Beltway and Parkside Apartments, was turbulent and strange; and the rainfall wouldn’t break for awhile.

Earlier, in Foggy Bottom, she’d watched the sky disappear, watched her office windows go gray and fill with long streaks. She had the closed-in feeling you get in an airplane taxiing in a storm: There was the turbulent world, inches away; here was a world weirdly – barely – immune.

Later, watching the fast river Rokeby Avenue became, she remembered Henry Miller’s nod to James Joyce in The Tropic of Cancer.

“I love everything that flows,” said the great blind Milton of our times. I was thinking of him this morning when I awoke with a great bloody shout of joy: I was thinking of his rivers and trees and all that world of night which he is exploring. Yes, I said to myself, I too love ev­erything that flows: rivers, sewers, lava, semen, blood, bile, words, sentences. I love the amniotic fluid when it spills out of the bag. I love the kidney with its painful gallstones, its gravel and what-not; I love the urine that pours out scalding and the clap that runs endlessly; I love the words of hysterics and the sentences that flow on like dysentery and mirror all the sick images of the soul; I love the great rivers like the Amazon and the Orinoco, where crazy men like Moravagine float on through dream and legend in an open boat and drown in the blind mouths of the river. I love everything that flows, even the menstrual flow that carries away the seed unfecund. I love scripts that flow, be they hieratic, esoteric, perverse, polymorph, or unilateral. I love everything that flows, ev­erything that has time in it and becoming, that brings us back to the beginning where there is never end: the vio­lence of the prophets, the obscenity that is ecstasy, the wisdom of the fanatic, the priest with his rubber litany, the foul words of the whore, the spittle that floats away in the gutter, the milk of the breast and the bitter honey that pours from the womb, all that is fluid, melting, dis­solute and dissolvent, all the pus and dirt that in flowing is purified, that loses its sense of origin, that makes the great circuit toward death and dissolution. The great in­cestuous wish is to flow on, one with time, to merge the great image of the beyond with the here and now. A fat­uous, suicidal wish that is constipated by words and par­alyzed by thought.

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