Thursday, October 13, 2022

The Mark of the Great Writer

He had a kind of all-purpose pocket
Tool—bit of a bottle opener, wrench,
And screwdriver but not really a knife—

That he used for every impossible
Small task he couldn’t quite get a grip on,
Pry open, or push down or whatever.

Often, using it, he would catch himself
Muttering, like it was curse and wisdom
Both, that cliché about how, to a man

With a hammer, everything is a nail.
But he wasn’t a man with a hammer.
He was a man with a funky whatzit,

Not quite an all-purpose tool, but useful,
That he repurposed as the need arose,
And usually found a way to make work

Without injuring himself too badly.
Then he would slip it in his hip pocket
And forget about it until the next

Problem presented itself. One morning,
He had an idea that he couldn’t quite
Put into words, and before he knew it,

He was twisting the edge of the idea,
Prying at it with that thingamabob,
Until he twisted so hard the tool snapped.

For a few moments he just stared sadly
At what was now a useless piece of scrap.
Then he sighed. Well, at least I’ve got the mark

Of greatness in writing, having deformed
My medium in order to say what
Has never been said before. So, there’s that.

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