Thursday, May 20, 2010

It is in the Knife

It is in the Knife

It is in the knife to split substance.
It is in the knife to seize the magnet.

The paradox: saw the bread in half,
now there are two pieces. Division

and multiplication make similar
products. More stuff. Look at your

impulse to cut, look out for it.
Hack at the thing and you have

copied it. Recall your last haircut,
how as you left you stepped over

piles of strands, strewn thick as hay.
All that hair was reaped from your head,

from what still hangs thick from
your scalp. As disintegrating of a force

as it may be, the blade replicates.
The knife was born to cleave

and cling. From its teeth, edges
emerge, freshly-forged perimeters.


  1. Some of what is great about this poem: You slowly build to a complication of words which can be difficult to pull off--or recover from in the couplet that mentions multiplication, but you turn on a dime with the word stuff, which is sorta funny to me in a certain way, and a change of the pacing from that point on. Then stuff sorta internally rhymes with the next line's 'cut.' Then there's all the breathy sounds of 'h' later in the poem: hay, hair, head, hangs.

    Sorry. Sometimes I fawn over form.

  2. I love this poem! I liked when it got to the part about thehair...for some reason I was not expecting that. ;)

  3. The "impulse to cut" part is indicative of foreboding. I recall the time the hairdresser cut my hair too short for my liking, and I maybe had the impulse to reap all the hair from his head. ;)

    Hannah in scary-writer mode? I like. Cheers.

  4. I like this poem a lot. It is both compelling and creepy in a good way. Notably, "the impulse to cut" -- I know a kid (very young) who is a cutter. Many layers of substance/issues/emotion with this poem.


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