Jan. 15 - "All pens break. All pens"

by Jason Wardell

All pens break. All pens
have already broken. All
pens were built to break.

How long will it be before
this pen breaks, rendering
the page unreadable, making
light indistinguishable, making
negatives unthinkable?

All it takes is duress over time to tsunami out
ink, to erase memories, to rewrite histories.

This pen is going to break and dry
to dust, its history is writ, long
before claws grasped at plastic
and metal, carving, negotiating
growth with decay, suffering
with pleasure, the pen broke
and was always going to break.

But, oh, there are pens that
also write and rewrite white
over dark stories that fill pages:
stories of floods and waves
writ over blizzards and snow
drifts, the layers upon layers
of sediment, recycled layers
of sentiment, but, oh, let us
not concern ourselves with
any but the topmost matters
for now.

Of course, these pens will also break.

All pens break, but somewhere
is a story where a pen is in-
sufficient to tell it, somewhere
is a pen that will write a yet un-
told story.

But, of course, these pens will also break.

All pens break. All pens
have already broken. All
pens were built to break.


Author's Note: My pen broke today. It was already broken when I bought it.

Posted on 01/16/2010
Copyright © 2022 Jason Wardell

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ava Blu on 01/16/10 at 02:10 AM

mmmmm. figuratively speaking, your pen is not broken at all.

Posted by Michael Smith on 01/16/10 at 02:18 AM

I really like the 2nd stanza, and thoroughly enjoyed the wordplay throughout! This poem's context spiders out to many truths... A wonderful tale, here, not only of planned obsolescence, but of the continuity and duality of the universe -- we are stardust: our story is big, but our story is also insignificant; our story will be told but our story will also be forgotten. Fun stuff here, Jason, thanks!

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 01/16/10 at 01:27 PM

I've gotta agree with Ava. I'd say your pen could still outdo any sword. This is just wonderful work.

Posted by Nadia Gilbert Kent on 01/16/10 at 06:58 PM

I smell a slam piece. :D

Posted by Therese Elaine on 01/17/10 at 12:11 AM

And sometimes when they break, we find new ways to write down thought, etch ideas and limn limbs...the words find a way to come forth...and I love this piece, so there!

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