Monday, January 2, 2012

Kate Braid's quotable poem from Turning Left to the Ladies

Lesson 1: Nails

Look at Ed over there.
Sixty if he’s a day and the man looks
more graceful than a goddamned
crane. Nails hum for him.
Walls rise all around him
like some Eastern palace.
Ed knows
these little lines of steel can talk,
tell you what kind of wood you’re dealing with,
how thick and whether it’s wet or dry.

You feed ’em to your hammer like this.
Are you right handed? Hammer in the right,
nails in the left. Don’t look!
Just finger those nails and
roll them like cigarettes.
Place them
one at a time fast, right
where your hammer is
waiting, poised at the top
of the next swing
to give them a love tap or two.

Got the rhythm, kid, you got it now?
You’ve got to love a job that’s got
this much rhythm,
this much swing.

From Kate Braid’s Turning Left to the Ladies
Palimpsest Press 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN ----