Capitalism, a New Poem by Matt Sedillo

 

Matt Sedillo

Capitalism

by Matt Sedillo

Edgar
One of seven
Third born
Parents poor
Seen two younger die
Bed ridden
Mother crying
Father’s time
Fleeting
Man has
Something to say
Has an opinion
About everything
By sick child’s bed side
Pain reads in his eyes
Yet says next to nothing
Father rendered silent
London
Is full of dying children
Sheets carry
The stench
Father’s coat
Smells of factory smoke
Of the ash
That fell upon it
Mother sings sweetly
But the truth rings in her eyes
Edgar is going to die
And they both know it
Jenny

Jenny Marx, Karl Marx' wife

Pawn shoes
Pawn rings
Pawns linen
Has already lost
Two children
To the squalor
Of the east end
Does her shopping
Stepping over
Beggars lying in sewage
Lying in shit and piss
And third child
Her only son
Her precious boy
Her sweet angel
Edgar
Is dying
Victorian England
The world’s most
Powerful nation
Is full of dying children
Streets run flooded
With the tears
Of the women
Forced to bury them
Husband

Karl Marx

Some kind of genius
Beloved
Celebrated
Studied
The toast of a town
That will do nothing
To help feed his children
Edgar is going to die
And the whole family knows it
Karl
Spends more time
In the library
Than he does
With family
There are questions
To be answered
Momentum
To be conquered
There is talk
In intellectual circles
That his
Is the most brilliant mind
In all of London
His ideas are spreading
As his child lays dying
Walks the streets
That lead
To hallowed
Halls of knowledge
That lead to ladies in parlors
That lead to lords in parliament
On the same stretch of sidewalk
Of whores and beggers
Karl immerses his mind
In political economy
Some say his ideas
Will be the ones
That will shape history
He says the point is not to simply
Interpret the world
But to change it
Because he knows
Knowledge is not power
Only power is power
And kings queens
Clergy
Industrialists
And moneyed interests
See to it their critics
Are not rewarded
For their efforts
And Karl knows
That a man with ideas alone
Right as they may be
Cannot salvage a single

Edgar Marx, son of Jenny & Karl Marx, died in 1855. "Der arme Musch ist nicht mehr. Er entschlief (im wörtlichen Sinne) in meinen Armen"(Jenny Marx)

Solitary child
Not even
His own
The industrial revolution
Is full of dying children
Edgar
One of seven
Third born
Parents poor
Seen two younger die
Will not survive
The night
And there is nothing
The boy’s father
The most brilliant political mind
In all of Germany
France or Great Britain
The specter that haunts Europe
The writer
The philosopher
The journalist
The political economist
The revolutionary
The boy’s father
History’s most famous communist
No there was not a damn thing
Karl Marx
Poor as he was
Could have done about it

In memory of Edgar Marx and all the child victims of the industrial revolution

<mailto:mattsedillo1981@gmail.com>mattsedillo1981@gmail.com

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