By Nate Klug b. 1985 Nate Klug

It hides its edges
in speed, it has
no edges. Plus every time
he thinks he knows

it close enough, can discriminate
centripetal force
from what gets sheared
straight off,

direction changes:
through stunned space the blade
snaps back,
turtles into its handle

and starts over spinning
the other way.
All along the chopped-up sidewalk
(the need to keep

breaking what we make
to keep making)
the concrete saw
plunges and resurfaces,

precise as a skull;
it glints against
the small smoke
of its own work.

Source: Poetry (April 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2012
 Nate  Klug


Nate Klug was born in Minnesota, grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and earned a BA in English at the University of Chicago and a Masters from Yale Divinity School. He is the author of Rude Woods (The Song Cave, 2013), a book-length adaptation of Virgil’s Eclogues, and Anyone (University of Chicago, 2015). In 2010 he was awarded a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation. A UCC-Congregationalist minister, he has served . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Jobs & Working

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.