From Amos: Confessions of a Major Minor Prophet

A Resume From The Other End of the Spectrum

Starting something. New. Something you have not done before. Like—oh, say—starting a career as a prophet. That’s a leap (“of faith” may be stretching it, but a leap).

No salary. No benefits. No nothin.

And the possibility of massive blood loss among the cobblestones of the street.

Starting a career as a real prophet, I mean. Not one of the yes-sayers, fake-seers, ersatz-lap-dog-yea-ers in the employ of the power. In the employ of the parasites that suck the blood of the poor. If you get my drift . . .

(Yes, prophecy is about politics. But then everything is, come to that, no?)

Real prophet. Not something to put on the resume. But, then, “shepherd” or “sycamore pruner” don’t look so good either.

To the powers, that is. “He was one of the herdsmen of Tekoa.” I didn’t write that bit of my book. As a resume, though, it ain’t bad. Not a bad place to start as a prophet.

Starting. But then all this stuff about paths and roads. Hell. Where I come from, there’s no road or path. Just a general direction. “Thataway, sort of.” You’ll see a worn spot here. Over there. Up there a ways. Worn down from hooves and bare feet. No connections, though. No way from here to there except by a sort of generally heading thataway.

Consequently, we shepherds develop quite a nose for direction. General direction. And we get accustomed to not knowing quite which way. Or how much farther. Just thataway. And if thataway doesn’t work; well, there’s always that-other-way.

Generally works just as well. How’s that for a line on the resume?

So, when I was clear on the call;
On the sound that justice gagged makes;
When I had that part;

It was just sort of a thataway order
That I got about where to go. North.
Where the big kingdom was.

Thataway where the fattest parasites
Attached themselves. Where the
Big empire sat, attached, sucking

Our blood. Thataway where a new
Pharaoh sat, looking to lion
Us all up like so many lame

sheep.

That kind of call. That kind of resume.

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