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Bill Hutton's History of America: Manifest Destiny

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Manifest Destiny went to Uncle Tom's cabin for a little trout. He went through the pines. He went through the pine clearing all wonder filled sun sight & saw Uncle Sam and Mr. Peanut engaged.

"Don't know what to believe anymore," said Manifest. "Maybe I'll find Zebula Pike and join the Whigs."

He had the Marshall Plan in his pocket. He had a banana sandwich with Indian relish in his pocket. Article XIX. Manifest cleared his throat with a toilet plunger and coughed up a little nostalgia. He remembered how the land was when he first got here, how it tasted like copper in your mouth, running that way from old pennies chasing you down a winding street.

Chunks of Manifest's brain were falling away like pieces of shadroe. Spirals of green plants left the ground seeking refuge with the chocolate covered alligators in all the trees. It was night. This was the time for a young swinger like him to be alive. Tony fastened his white sneakers and left for the Strip.


Something fell from the skies. Manifest rubbed his woman's breasts and wished he had a ticket for the football game. Maybe it was his skin. All the other kids were out sniffing glue and fucking in the back seats of '48 Mercurys. Why wasn't he in on any of the fun?

"Maybe it is your skin, Manifest." And out of the trees came the Clearasil man from American Bandstand. "You got pimples real bad, lad, so cover half your face with a leading brand and wash well. Now try ours."

"Holy Cow!"

"Holy Cow is right, Manifest. . . ."

He kicked the smoking ruins of an American President. Bombs drifted over his head like impossible Chinese Madness. The place was changing now and Chop Suey don't taste the same anymore. It didn't taste any better or any worse. It was ending. Or it was beginning.

Bill Hutton's History of America was published by the Coach House Press, Toronto/Detroit. Copyright © 1968 by Bill Hutton.