The Hanover Golem
by William Doreski



Your Dartmouth salary won't cover
indoor plumbing so you built
an outhouse big as a garage.
Tourists gape at it. Alumni,
stupefied by football, use it
with a certain surly panache.
Students ridicule yet sullenly
admire the ornate carpentry.

Today's the first anniversary
of its construction. You've hired
a pump truck to flush the pits,
which even primed with chemicals
stink up the entire neighborhood.
Before the crew pokes hoses
into the bog, however,
a figure crawls from the mess
and stands erect, not covered with
but made of a whole year's excrement.

This golem doesn't suggest
Rabbi Loew's benign creation.
Instead of "Truth" inscribed
on its forehead, it bears the word
"Power," rendering it fateful
and loyal to unnatural law.
How could you allow this creature
to create itself from your waste?

With suction noise it frees itself
from the mire and starts to walk.
Tipsy at first, it quickly learns
to balance its half-liquid bulk.
It opens its mouth and gargles
like a politician, spewing thick
and obscure phonemes everywhere,
a rain of digested rhetoric.

Look at it lumbering up Main Street
toward the green, where Winter Carnival
is rioting. Mucky footprints pass
the co-op, the camera shop, Murphy's.
Look: it touches certain passersby,
dabbing smelly blotches on their clothes.
Perhaps it's marking those who'll die
in the coming year.

Watch it cross
the intersection to the green.
The student mob recoils in horror,
overwhelmed by the stink. See it
embrace elaborate ice sculptures
and melt them with combustion
so purely organic nothing
can resist. Even in sunlight
its supernatural dark shines,
tripping screams and panic.

Maybe
you can stop it, since you
and your family excreted it.
Rabbi Loew, by removing one
Hebrew letter, changed "Truth" to "Death,"
emeth to meth, felling his creature.
But changing "Power" to "Ower"
would make this creature more ominous,
so maybe we should leave it alone
and hope that at dusk it will freeze.

Then we can saw it to morsels
and burn them in your fireplace
and hope the stench rises high enough
to properly rebuke the stars
for so inspiring that even
our detritus endows itself
with the ego of creation.






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