I’d Rather Not be a Hammer

A haibun about the perils of writer’s block

a forestbather in ukraine
1 min readSep 29, 2021

In my hand is a hammer. Maybe by now my hand itself has become a hammer, ready to crush all that comes before me, destroying instead of recording the flow.

Even that sentence has unhealthy connotations I realise, but hammers are devoid of analytical endeavour, being more of a simple banging type of object.

It used to be that for writers, hands held quills and pens, or typed with fingertips on keyboards, more delicately than world-reknown ballet dancers could dance on the teeth of alligators and crocodiles.

The days of throwing roses onstage after my favourite femme fatale has leapt boldly across it are long gone, though, as I surround myself in a cacophany of silence — until darkness, when I find I must sneak out again, and escape into the arms of my favourite courtière, who drinks like she fucks, and does not mind my impotence, for the money I leave is the same, and there is all the more whisky to drink.

But soon, in my hand will only be my penis, soft and unhammerlike; ever-shrinking, for the money available for my previous leisurely nightly pursuit will have long gone, like my erections, and my paragraphs. Until then, I wait, and wait, hopeful, perhaps, like the baboon in a cage, no longer performing, a flicker of a dream of the savannah behind closed eyelids the only few moments each day worth remembering...

swan in flight
I watch from my park bench
—from where this feather?