I always saved the little pencil
From a round of golf because
It reminds me of life:
Very short, no eraser
But a perfect conic missile
Sharpened to hypodermic point
Such a pleasure to wield, at times,
Even just to scribble and doodle,
Darken in all the D’s and zeroes
On this governmental form
With a metallic graphite sheen.
As it wears down we
Begin to ration our language
To aphoristic obliquity:
Love is not the opposite
Of loneliness it is the fog on the stage
When you’ve forgotten all your lines.
You are either a person perpetually anxious
About becoming who you think you ought to be
Or the dullard loaf of mystery meat
Who knows exactly who he is and will always be.
But no matter how abridged it is,
Those pencils never last for long.
So much remains unsaid and we’ve
Already ground it down to the nub.
I keep writing even when
The black tip has retracted
Beneath the smudged shuttlecock of wood.
You have to look closely
To see the desperate ruts
I’ve pressed into the page