Monday, 2 December 2013
More Wallace but no Gromit
After my recent modernist-style musing inspired by Wallace Stevens, here's one more - maybe the last - certainly for a while...
13 ways of looking at a black biro
Taken for a walk,
you leave behind
a trail of art.
From behind the builder’s ear
or plucked out of a boffin’s
moving swiftly across the paper
with a fetish for dotted lines, you
release much-needed funds,
waive this-and-that responsibility
and grease the wheels of officialdom.
The loss of your cap-point
protects those who swallow you;
that tiny hole
in the side of your barrel
means ninjas can no longer
use you as a breathing-tube
when hiding in ponds.
Target of a billion petty office thefts,
or received as promotional giveaways,
though no-one ever buys you,
you are legion.
As many of you are made by a company
known for razors,
you impart the ability
to write sharp words –
is this why you are
mightier than the Wilkinson Sword?
Though a thumb’s merest oily smear
may halt your progress,
enough of you can
break even the strongest of backs.
Along with marbles,
photos of the Dalai Lama,
and indeed pencils,
you are valuable currency
when wandering off the beaten track.
Architect of half this poem,
give or take,
your scratchings lie mingled
with those of blue kin.
By drawing on a little moustache
and side-slicked fringe,
you can make anyone into Hitler,
and like him,
you only have one ball.
is thicker than water,
the pitch it may depict.
Resetting digital timepieces and other electronic gadgetry,
manually winding obsolete music cassettes,
being used for an emergency tracheotomy (apocryphal?),
an entomologist’s probe for winkling out beetles,
one of two pins for hair-in-a-bun,
makeshift clay-modelling or bathroom sealant tool,
somewhere to store rubber bands,
a simple conjuror’s prop appearing to wobble.
Vous êtes un stylo,
from ‘stylus’ –
you’ve come a long way
since wax tablets and cuneiform,
un imprimante de mots manuscrits