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The Lumpenpoemletariat

 

The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows and the truest of all books was Solomon’s and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe… So I briefly knew woe … once … in Worcester, Massachusetts… I knew it when I knew something about the Great Pyramids … in Egypt… Who built them … and how … that it was not slaves … not aliens … not geniuses outfitted with agile hammers … Not … it was not the moon making strange tides run over the rivers and over the sands … It was … and I knew it from some letters I found … once … in an old book … The letters were in the Kings chapter … The Bible in a secondhand shop … Worcester is … near where I am from … War Chester is how the word looks… Herman Melville was also from … near here … near Worcester … and the letters were written … I think … it has been a long time since I read them … I really think they were by him … It is on record that Melville took a ship to Egypt … to Giza …! to gaze at the pyramids … people think he wrote very little afterwards … about the pyramids … or anything else … but these letters … In them he confessed… he confessed how weak he was … upon understanding that the pyramids were built by a kindergartener … an ancient Egyptian five year old … the boy was not told to … he was simply playing … playing in the sand … while the adults were busy with funerals … he was playing … he was making stones with secret ingredients … … then he was piling them higher and higher … the pyramids were not for the gods … it is always the simplest answer … the most elegant solution … the kindergartner knew true north … by … by the way… when he looked up…  his head was pulled by the sky… he knew π … from the circles of his parents’ eyes … and the circles inside those circles… and the way eyelids slice everything in half … and how to charm ants … armies of ants … to help him with the heaviest stones … he did it with his fingertips …

 

This is just … semi-remembering … the only exact line I recall from the letters was But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. … Why I didn’t steal the letter from that store in Worcester … or even grope the bottom of my backpack … for dollar bills … I am a wuss … I am shallow … I like joy … A kindergartner building the pyramids … it is … to even think about … so lonely-making … The amount of time he must have had to be alone to build them … and … how he must have learned how much all of us have to … And… this is important…  how he got down from the top once he was finished … When his parents said Come down  and he wanted to obey… But … But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. … did he jump … he would have died … unless … Maybe he knew that secret too … or maybe he invited his parents up to the top … the way the deceased will get an angel escort … or maybe he slid down … they are giant slides … but too fast …  or else he did make it down but was then stricken … by life is all … lifestricken … The day I found those letters in the shop in Worcester I was alone … and had been alone for months … and I did not want what was true … or woe … I wanted children …




Darcie Dennigan