Another Description of The Missisippi River and America

daniel adlerI wrote this while drinking Sapporo and rolling Bali Shag and playing guitar Sunday night. Yeah that Daniel Adler, he’s some bohemian. It’s pretty much as is:

we are going to have so much fun crossing that Mississippi that swollen vestibular brown member that cuts and drains the great American continent, collecting waters from valleys and ancient mountains, waters that have carved her in a slow snake tether two thousand miles from the melting northern ices. the vast plains were once a tropical dinosaur’s paradise, and then they became underwater when the gulf of mexico meteor splashed all that water into the middle of them and it dried and became a great salt lake and the land began to change from the water’s slow drying, striating orange and red.  the parts that went dry first, a hundred million years ago, they’re desert, big low hot desert, where animals that don’t let on live, that scutter across the sand dunes and then on the coast, once you get the warm gusts of the sweet pacific, it is all worth it.

the cypresses and the salty gusts of sea-breeze have dried the coastline into soft collections of fog and sun and more sun inland until you get north and the rounded curve of california transforms into a northern jag that doesn’t get the same direct assassin shine to burn off the creamy fog. but in the middle, back in the middle it’s straight and flat, that great brown bowl of loamy earth, puddled with lakes too far south for the wandering snake to collect. the hot dry heat hangs and blows like a hair dryer. there’s plenty to remember about that continent, just no white man knew about it, he was sleeping through the wild and rugged land’s exploration, its deep rich sodomization of earth, the same verily that brought new sins to the old world, the chocolate bean and the tobacco smoke and the heady coffee buzz. how would explain those three to the king? the smells alone would stump a wordsworth. might as well try, the smell of coffee and tobacco and raw chocolate is like the earth’s bowels turning up resilience and time. there is so much to see because it expands so far, so far west. you’d hope to get close when you’re about halfway, but the distances are siberian. good god they are great. no wonder north america and russia were the first countries in space, to them it seemed the closest.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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