Academic journal article Chicago Review

Eighty-Blade Sportsman's Knife, by Joseph Rodgers & Sons

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Eighty-Blade Sportsman's Knife, by Joseph Rodgers & Sons

Article excerpt

Do not think of the secret transvection of the

blade of the balisong counter

rotating with such teleportal stealth

it arrives cold at the neck, a vampire knife

transforming in air from sheath

to edge and back again in a pulse like

the unaccountable translucent blades

of a helicopter;

even that tool is misnamed a "butterfly knife"

underscoring an unfulfilled

wish for gradual metamorphosis,

and the two handles of the butterfly knife

only look like wings as if

hung on the thorax by Richard Serra

no not hung, just propped against each other

temporarily; life

is improvisational, also death. All things

slip. But another name for the

butterfly knife I find more fitting is

"Manila Folder"; I'll take world capitals

for two hundred plus ancient

technology at least as old as the

Roman Empire by which a blade pivots

into its own hilt. It

sounds like a place to file old receipts, Manila

Folder, but it only files one

blade over and over. It is not grace

or contempt, but repetition that sharpens

me, and as repeating your

own name contaminates it the same way

a humans touch repels a mother bird

from her eggs, I don't think

I want to think about me today or ever.

Ever received mail intended

for another? The eighty-blade sportsman's

knife is that archive. Look yourself up in cross-referenced

alternative lives.

The one-fact file of the butterfly knife

burns obsolescent like the pathetic


of a dead firefly I might as well have stepped on

last night on my own kitchen floor,

while the body of my sportman's knife, as

abiding as the roach into whose august

DNA a whole volume

of The New York Times was proposed to be

spliced, throbs in a flash of holy fire that

refines this Library

of Congress instead of engulfing it. …

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