Tag Archives: Renaissance

I Call Myself a Renaissance Man But Never Out Loud

Wood carving is my latest hobby,

my latest need for new tools to place just so on top of old tools.


Hook blades, triangle chisels, razor spoons dreamed by Dr. Seuss

and gifts via my wife’s rolling eyes

from my five year old son, the reason I need a hobby,

and one I can sample in ten-minute increments.


And so I carved a spoon so big it could feed the world,

my version of starting small.


I sharpen, hone, strop, learn about

woods that shape, work well when wet, green.

There’s just something about sharpening, being sharp,

that makes me inhale.


At first and as always my hobby was

research, preparation, accumulation, anticipation

of satisfying in this instance my need to squeeze, to flex my hands,

like kneading pasta dough or washing my son’s hair.

Squeeze till my forearms hum and my fingers open by themselves.


My wife wonders why I pay more at a thrift store

for items like a retired aluminum slaughterhouse ice shovel,

how it could be better at clearing snow.

But it is better at holding my son,

Who sits in the palm of it, and then I toss him onto the pile,

and he rolls down the other side, laughing.

I imagine the curator in a hundred years

prying open the crate, utilizing his grandfather’s crowbar

and forearms of his own,

seeing my signature and knowing he has stumbled upon

an original Conti, the fabled Giant Spoon.

My signature a smudge of blood

usually from my left thumb left on every piece I’ve touched.

Spoons of increasing smallness.

But what more proof could he need, could I leave,

than that.

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