I hadn’t conceived even one good, sound idea, like his idea of getting himself bumped off … That idea was bigger than my big head, bigger than all the fear that was in it, a fine, a magnificent idea to die with . . . How many lives would I need to make myself an idea more powerful than anything in the world? No saying. A flop! My ideas went rattling around in my head with lots of space between them. They were like faint, flickering little candles, trembling throughout a lifetime in the middle of a ghostly, abominable universe.
One day the horses will live in the saloons
and the enraged ants
will throw themselves on the yellow skies
that take refuge in the
eyes of cows.
If they studied their paper money for clues as to what their country was all about, they found, among a lot of other baroque trash, a picture of a truncated pyramid with a radiant eye on top of it, Not even the President of the United States knew what that was all about. It was as though the country were saying to its citizens, ” In nonsense is strength”
Our civilization is a temple of what would be called unsecured mania, but it is also its asylum, and we don’t know if we are suffering from an excess or a deficiency.
He meets a jazz musician who tells him about chickens that talk and probably think.
“The worst of it,” the musician says to him, “is that the governments of the planet know it and that’s why so many people raise chickens.”
The boy objects that the chickens are raised to be eaten. The musician says that’s what the chickens want. And he finishes by saying:
“Fucking masochistic chickens, they have our leaders by the balls.”