We’ve seen some version of the nail
curled over, the head angled at 90 degrees
or parallel to its body, just above

the penetration point. Three years ago
a tornado powered a single straw stem
through the oak’s bark and into its trunk,

illustrating the Old English beonet, for
“stiff grass,” and sadly conjuring the image
of a blade affixed to a firearm’s muzzle, the

etymology of which lies elsewhere, in Gascony.
And when we consider mental inclination,
signifying deflected, turned, or not straight,

we might also include an earlier past participle
meaning “directed in course.” But even the
tree’s armor could not deter the twister’s

wrath, and the hammer, no matter my aim
or purpose, seems intent upon glancing off
the nail, twisting it, leaving us, again, bent.


“Bent” first appeared in the print publication Ristau: A Journal of Being in January 2018.


8 thoughts on “Bent

  1. You are such a master of haibun. This miniature, poetry-infused, eco-historical “essay” is so completely and utterly filled with Okajic goodness.

    Okajify = intransitive verb form: “To improve or refine”.
    Okajje = transitive verb: “To press the Power button on a digital device in order to turn it on and open an electronic document in which to compose aesthetically superior poetry, e.g. “He okajjed his computer before checking his emails.”
    Okajic = adjective (thoughtful, refined): “The Okajic poem was the superior of the two poems.”
    Okajicality = abstract noun (sophistication, refinement): “Okajicality is a preferred trait in the modern .”
    Okajique = adjectival noun (those who demonstrate Okajicality): “The Okajique must defeat the moronic.”
    Okajikly (with refinement and/or aesthetic superiority) = “His attempts to write Okajikly demonstrate a need for further refinement.”

    Liked by 2 people

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