Nothing is Plumb, Level or Square

Love Song: I and Thou

Alan Dugan

Nothing is plumb, level, or square:
     the studs are bowed, the joists
are shaky by nature, no piece fits
     any other piece without a gap
or pinch, and bent nails
     dance all over the surfacing
like maggots. By Christ
     I am no carpenter. I built
the roof for myself, the walls
     for myself, the floors
for myself, and got
     hung up in it myself. I
danced with a purple thumb
     at this house-warming, drunk
with my prime whiskey: rage.
     Oh I spat rage’s nails
into the frame-up of my work:
     it held. It settled plumb,
level, solid, square and true
     for that great moment. Then
it screamed and went on through,
     skewing as wrong the other way.
God damned it. This is hell,
     but I planned it. I sawed it,
I nailed it, and I
     will live in it until it kills me.
I can nail my left palm
     to the left-hand crosspiece but
I can’t do everything myself.
     I need a hand to nail the right,
a help, a love, a you, a wife.

 

Shown as part of BFA Thesis, Spectre 2008

Nothing is plumb, level or square
“Nothing is plumb, level or square” Chicken wire, carts, wheels, wood, wool. GVSU BFA Thesis Show: Spectre 2008
Nothing is plumb, level or square (2)
“Nothing is plumb, level or square” Chicken wire, carts, wheels, wood, wool. GVSU BFA Thesis Show: Spectre 2008
Nothing is plumb, level or square (3)
“Nothing is plumb, level or square” Chicken wire, carts, wheels, wood, wool. GVSU BFA Thesis Show: Spectre 2008
Nothing is plumb, level or square (4)
“Nothing is plumb, level or square” Chicken wire, carts, wheels, wood, wool. GVSU BFA Thesis Show: Spectre 2008

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