That was all I had to hear. I dashed off to the Hub (the cafeteria in the student union building), ready for some flash poetry read by poetry professor Joe Heithaus to cello accompaniment by music professor Eric Edberg. As the students swarmed about with their laden trays, Joe stood at the top of a stairway and sang out these lines from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself":
This is the meal equally set, this the meat for natural hunger, It is for the wicked just same as the righteous, I make appointments with all, I will not have a single person slighted or left away, The kept-woman, sponger, thief, are hereby invited, The heavy-lipp'd slave is invited, the venerealee is invited; There shall be no difference between them and the rest.
This is the press of a bashful hand, this the float and odor of hair, This the touch of my lips to yours, this the murmur of yearning, This the far-off depth and height reflecting my own face, This the thoughtful merge of myself, and the outlet again.
Do you guess I have some intricate purpose? Well I have, for the Fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of a rock has.
Do you take it I would astonish? Does the daylight astonish? does the early redstart twittering through the woods? Do I astonish more than they?
This hour I tell things in confidence, I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.