Chisel the Poet

by Faig Mamedov


The poet called Chisel grated his way through the prosy days of his life. 

He managed to make ends meet somehow. He had and lost many a job, and was often in the red. And yet, he had been looking for that mysterious point where the parallel lines cross until his wife calmed their crying baby against the corner of his writing desk one day. 

Chisel found a job at the local graveyard where, in the stone workshop, the huge circular grinder screeched and howled as it carved out headstones for the cool customers. Chisel had the job chiselling into shape the granite rocks. 

But the workshop stood too close to the graveyard and its endless noise bothered the late to sleep. The residents fumbled and twisted in their graves, pulling the stone plates over their heads like blankets. They complained about the noise that kept them from sleeping in peace.

Chisel got fired.

His woman said good-bye and left with the baby that will never cry again. 

Chisel locked himself up in the deserted apartment for a month. He worked hard and then, finally, he limped outside with his greatest ever work of art, the final version of his last poem.

Chisel made his way to his literary agent. The literary agent said he was glad to see him but he had to foot too many bills yet. Chisel went to the periodicals with which he had better times. They were delighted to see the masterpiece maker back again, they said. It had been ages, they said. Just leave it over there and we are going to read it and get back to you on it pretty soon. 

He waited long before he lost his hair.

Then, on one shiny morning, he found himself in the editor’s office.

‘Hey, buddy! It was quite wonderful, no, magnificent is the word!’

‘So what’s it going to be?’ asked Chisel.

‘Well, you know …The other day I run out of smoking paper – I smoke those hand-rolls, you know, I like to roll my own cigarette… So, er, I used your most talented poem…hope you do not mind, bud…’

‘That was the only copy,’ said the poet.

‘Had it been, though? Well, er…Why, what a thoughtful, poetical smoke indeed came from your poem as it burnt!’ the editor said.

~ by jwoodall on July 23, 2009.

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