The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe

The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe

The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe

The Facts in the Case of E. A. Poe


`Perhaps the mystery is a little too plain,' said Dupin.

EDGAR ALLAN POE in `The Purloined Letter'.

My name is Edgar Allan Poe.

In the morning, I cannot use my name. We all need an alias to hide ourselves during our working hours. Like professional highwaymen, we must put on masks and cloaks for our daily robberies-- sometimes called our salaries. We assume our disguise at that superfluous and nasty meal, breakfast, after we have said our grace:

For those we are about to deceive, may the good Lord make us truly careful .

Then between the cereal and the non-fat milk, we pick the fluff off our dark suit.

Then between the bacon and the decholesterolated egg, we adjust our quiet tie.

Then between the Sanka coffee and the saccharin, we compose our mouth to sip, but never suck.

Then we leave for work, the impostors of the day.

Outside my apartment, which is more of a retreat than a home, the streets are always a weir or an abyss. I have, indeed, moved up from the Brooklyn flats to the heights overlooking Manhattan Island, from the melting pot that never mixed us to the tower block that hardly protects us. Yet my fears have moved with me. I cannot pass a group of black boys waiting under the broken doorways without being Whitey again, held up against the high school wall for a nickel and a dime -- `Gimme yo' lunch money, motherfucker' -- and I gave, I always gave.

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