I swam up to the Statue of Liberty before hitting the road to pick her brains. That's what the guys do in the myths sometimes, they push for hints. I dropped religion back in my teens and then everything else. So what are you left with if you move outside of the stitched world? Instinct, dreams, myths, and sometimes a staged extremity like this. If such an extremity works.

Luckily this one did. 

The Lady in the Harbor I knew, I was at her 1986 centennial bash. I jumped into the water as I stood in Battery Park, sneakers and all, to show how serious I was. When I finally crawled onto her patch drenched and beat like a rented mule, you know what she said? “We don’t have French fries upstairs, sir.” In French (pommes de terre frites). Years before 9/11 she dropped that. 

Then I heard a noise. Clack, clack. I turned around...
A barefoot woman, her feet of translucent glass, was circling the monument. The feet clacking against the pavement, she wailing―Americans are a people which already isn’t living in a country which already conked, Americans are a people which already isn’t living in a country which already conked. “Conked,” the word didn’t fit there at all, at all.

Franz Boas rose off the New Jersey shore. His bow tie translucent glass, him dancing on a portable grave, which wasn’t a funeral urn, it was an academician’s skull, its eyeholes rolling off like stuff, turning into smaller graves, they going after people, many of them childless, the children falling from the sky like musicians off the ramp, their eyes peeling off, turning into translucent glass, the pavement moving away, the eyes falling, falling, madness, madness, things conking, oops, cracking apart, no other way you could read it. 

So I knew. But I still felt like going. > >