Tragedy of Bricks by Galway Kinnell

Excerpt from the Tragedy of Bricks by Galway Kinnell with references to Blackstone River and Mills of Rhode Island


Overhead the sea blows upside down across Rhode Island.

slub clump slub clump

Charlie drops out. Carl steps in

sllub clump

No hitch in the sequence.

Paddy stands down. Otto jumps up.

Otto in his lifetime clumped into place seven million bricks

fell from the scaffolding,


slulb clump slub clulmp

Jake takes over, slubs mortar onto brick, cllumps brick onto mortar.

Does this. Does it again.

Topples over. No pause.

Rene appears. Homer collapses. Angelo springs up. No break in the rhythm

slub clump slub clump

They wear in they wear out.

They lay the bricks that build the mills

that shock the Blackstone River into yellow froth.

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