Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
I think the man who designed this should have committed suicide. A man who can conceive a thing as beautiful as this should never allowed it to be erected. He should not want to exist. But he will let it be built, so that women will hang out diapers on his terraces, so that men will spit on his stairways and draw dirty pictures on his walls. He’s given it to them and he’s made it part of them, part of everything. He shouldn’t have offered it for men like you to look at. For men like you to talk about. He’s defiled his own work by the first word you’ll utter about it. He’s made himself worse than you are. You’ll be committing only a mean little indecency, but he’s committed a sacrilege. A man who knows what he must have known to produce this should not have been able to remain alive.
Sometimes after dinner, he would walk into the woods that began behind the house. He would stretch down on the ground on his stomach, his elbows, planted before him, his hands propping his chin and he would watch the patterns of veins on the green blades of grass under his face, he would blow at them and watch the blades tremble then stop again. He would roll over on his back and lie still, feeling the warmth of the earth under him. Far above, the leaves were still green as if the color were condensed in the last effort before the dusk coming to dissolve it. The leaves hung without motion against a sky of polished lemon yellow, its luminous pallor emphasized that its light was failing. He pressed his hips, his back into the earth under him, the earth resisted, but it gave way; it was a silent victory; he felt a dim, sensuous pleasure in the muscles of his legs.
He stood naked at the edge of a cliff. THe lake lay far below him. A frozen explosion of granite burst in flight to the sky over motionless water. The water seemed immovable, the stone- flowing. The stone had the stillness of one last movement when thrust meets thrust and the currents are held in a pause more dynamic than motion. THe stone glowed wet with sunrays. The lake below was only a thin steel ring that cut the rocks in half. The rocks went on into the depth, unchanged. They began and ended in the sky so that the world seemed suspended in space, an island floating on on nothing, anchored to the feet of the man on the cliff. His body leaned back against the sky. It was a body of long straight lines and angles each curve broken into planes. He stood rigid his hands hanging at his sides, palms out. He felt his shoulder blades drawn tight together. The curve of his neck, and the weight of the blood in his hands. He felt the wind behind him in the hollow of his spine. The wind waved his hair against the sky. His hair was neither blonde nor red, but the exact color or ripe orange rind… He stepped to the edge, raised his arms, and dived down into the sky below.