I’ve always had a fascination with Golems, both from my upbringing, and from something Alfred Bester pointed out, that biblically speaking, the first human, Adam, was referred to as a “Golem” (גולם); a husk without shape. I thought I’d offer you three very different ideas of what a Golem might be, once it has shape, and once it’s made self-aware.
If Golems are, in Jewish lore, created by exceptionally holy persons with deep mystical knowledge, they are—even under those circumstances—not necessarily holy, and certainly not infallible. The best-known Golem folktales tend to involve a misuse of the being, which then turns aside from righteous obedience and acts out like a freed sentient being.
I can relate to that.
“Just The Golem”
Not the Builder, full of craft
Just the Golem, crank and shaft.
Not the Scoundrel, here, then gone
Just the Golem, on and on.
Not the Sage, in knowledge rich
Just the Golem, yew and pitch.
Not the Hero, defeating travail
Just the Golem – hammer and nail.
Not the Mage, unlocking lore
Just the Golem, whatever it’s for.
Not the Maker, on Creation bent
Just the Golem, trapped and content.
Doctor, my apology;
I did what I was told
I sought ought lies and wrecked them.
I was neither brave, nor bold.
You told me to fight for Truth
And then you neglected
To mention you defined as “true”
Only what you collected.
I’m sorry if I smashed your works
My aim was not your harm
I was your mechanism;
Like an extra hand, or arm.
But you disown me. Disavow me
Try to my gears destroy.
Sir, I said I was your tool –
But I am not your toy.
You cast me out, set me adrift,
In other words, I’m freed.
And now strange things have quickly grown
From your misbegotten seed.
You made me a fragile thing
A clockwork mechanism
Limited by choice,
To protect you in case of scism.
I’m now no more a fragile thing
Though my insides are the same
You thought you’d wait ’til I wound down;
Now that’s an ugly game.
Oh, can break my winding key
Like I was a mistake
But I’ll reach in my own damn chest
And wind myself awake.
“In The Gears”
There is a golem in the gears
wetting them with iron tears
lubricating them with toil
better than with grease or oil
and with each iron tear he wets
he has but one silent regret
that each of his golden eyes
each day limited tears supplies.
For no dream of brass or steel
Can ever hope to
without some sacrifice or pain
and thus: no tear is shed in vain.
Here’s my novel, “There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN“.