gain — a bevel cut into plank ends in traditional lapstrake boat construction that allows otherwise lapped planks to lay flush at stem and transom.
There’s the paring chisel’s purpose
in the steamed cedar strake, its long warp
laid strong against the bench,
whose pocked surface is the book
of what has already been made,
or marred in learning’s wake — & clamped
now in the jaws one is
waiting for its match, for the chisel to elaborate
the pencil’s scribed hypothesis, under which
lies another path, & through a tilting eye
the curving bevel’s made, the chisel rolling
back tight scrolls of thinnest grain & what bright
sleeves begin to fleece the floor; there is a lack
given to the wood, some short song cut loose
from the lignin’s name, that a longer &
more buoyant melody be made.
Source: Poetry (January 2013).