Physics of Argument


The pencil point pokes, wanting to sink into the deep meat of a juicy white paper, rocketing downward with the volition of the Apollo 13

All it can hit is ice, a perpendicular refutation, closing creamily like whale’s blubber around the feeble harpoons of a graphite ballerina. The silent rink refuses to give up its figure-eights for letters.

The pencil might roll, if it was a sensible pencil, might dribble into the corner with the frozen dust bunnies and someone’s lost scrunchie and pen them the quiet story of hatred between a wood torpedo and a blind-white smoothened field

But it’s only a pencil, not versed in basic physics, insensible.

Down again the pencil drives, force to the millionth exponent, losing tips like soldiers in a great world war, like the hands lose sand to the floor between the fingers, impossible to keep, impractical to win, sharpener spinning never fast enough to overwrite the breakage

The ice might dry, if it was sensible ice, might harden its blank skin to the gray graffiti drive so only surface scrawls in gibberish could appear in weak gray squeaks. Then no longer would the ice rink have to hurl up chunks of self-meat churned from the deep to heal the wounds that come from a pencil frustrated by the freezing of its words.

But they are only words;

they really don’t warrant all this perpendicular discord, the throbbing of bullets that will dispel by morning from held-in tears to sprinkled dew watering salty daisies that only want to be

Let be the supine pencil, let be the illiterate ice rink, let us instead grow a patch of daisies.


Image credits in order of appearance:

By Robert A. Eplett (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


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