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Episode 4. Part 2 of “The Introduction”

Foundry men

Also there was the long-shortcut to the foundry.

His little eyes spying through the window.

Alex was not to be allowed inside

but he could see the furnace

that reached through

the roof.


When the man opened the furnace door

Alex could feel the immense heat

right through the window.


The red hot iron flowed down a trough

into piglet shaped forms.


The men, filthy from the grimy work,

moved the piglets with long tongs.

The sweat ran down their bodies

leaving clean streaks

where the dirt

had settled

on them.


Even when sitting at home Alex would take long-shortcuts.

These were mental trips to imaginary work shops

that created things.


The genesis of these excursions was the wonderment

of the ornate trims around the doorways

and windows of his parent’s home,

the banisters of the staircase,

the detailed cast iron stove

in the kitchen.


Oh, that bright green porcelain which decorated the stove,

and finally, if not fearfully, the giant octopus

whose tentacles reached from the cellar

to heat every room in the house.

And, of course, the coal gas

treating the entire family

to a terrible headache

at least once per year.


Alex did not imagine all of these workshops correctly,

but he did get the majority of them right.

And why wouldn’t he? For Alex had

all sorts of workshops

in his neighborhood.


a neighborhood automobile mechanic,

working in a his own driveway,

an electrical generating plant,

which exploded every year,

a cobbler repairing shoes,

a golf ball factory,

a candy factory,

a farmer’s field,

a shoe factory,

a RR trestle

(with five very tall piers that carried the trains over the Susquehanna River on their way to New York, Scranton and Buffalo, a smoke belching railroad engine whose engineer tooted every time Alex waved at him)

and lastly, a factory that made felt in large swirling baths.

It was a wonderland

  Alex copyright