Like all uncivilized men,
they were hospitable.
The first boat that visited us in the cove
brought us a human arm, roasted.
I have heard it remarked
that human flesh is the most delicious
and therefore tasted a bit
and so did many of the others
without swallowing the meat or the juices
but either my conscience or my taste
rendered it very odious to me.
We bought two or three human hands
which appeared lately cut off,
as the flesh was quite raw
and not yet reduced to horny substance.
Our surgeon also bought one
of the human skulls.
Many think them cannibals,
yet I think we misunderstand them. For proof
I have bought a hand from one of them,
then desired the seller to eat it,
and offered him more iron and brass
than would have purchased
their most elegant dresses,
all of which offers he treated
with great contempt
and departed in great anger.
A series of events and images, that is all, at any time.
The events take place but the series is imposed, giving up the pattern which is
read and deciphered for its meaning.
The world occurs in its various parts, separately; nothing is necessarily simultaneous
or more connected than anything else.
It is all flux, without order or meaning or purpose.
That is what is given.
The rest is consciousness: selection, composition, that is
our business, my work for today.