Down the stairs to the shop and turn on the light.
You’ll spot a lot of short words
Strewn about with shop-worn strength.
You could start with Tool
And then move on to Adz, Froe, Slick, Brad/Nail/Tack,
Bench, Clamp, Blade, etc. –
The scale of lengths runs to
More or less one eighth (1/8) an inch, or so.
Over there, in careful, protected places,
Words with different looks and sounds,
Words with built-in precision.
Start with the instruments: Micrometer, Caliper, Surface Gage, Dividing Head,
Then on to Ferrous, Malleable, Anneal, Ductile, et cetera –
Dimensions determined to ± two thousandths (.002) of an inch, period.
Toolness is as layered as society is and its words are,
Like writer F. Scott’s West and East Egg
With their disparate and suggestive surnames –
Even simple words betoken more
Than what they’re meant to simply name.
A Gatsby might overlook the scene,
Under a rising moon from some luxurious mansion,
Overlooking checkered pasts and future ventures,
Disregarding the words, the staircase, the shop, the tools,
All the while looking out for his beloved Daisy,
Searching for and glimpsing, maybe, just perchance,
The glimmer of a beacon.