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The carpenter dresses his plank, the tongue of his
foreplane whistles its wild ascending lisp…
              --Walt Whitman


On day one, the fecund smell of that first steaming bucket of earth, like what the Lord enjoyed in at His work on the second day; its resonant FWUMP upon the empty bed of the dump truck. Next, the sweet fragrance of a rich batch of concrete, rattling down the chute.

Even as it cures comes the tacktacktacketing nail guns and banshee skilsaws, backed by a cycling chorus of generators and compressors. Vaporized pine resin, from a blade spinning at 4400 RPM, stinging the eyes like turpentine.

Kah-WHUMP goes a sheet of plywood, flopped onto naked joists. Off-cuts clatter clunk-a-lunk onto the plywood deck.

Roofers, they drive the newest trucks. Do not begrudge them; their work is dangerous. Electricians are prima donnas, and rightly so. One mistake and it’s up in flames. Never call a plumber a brownie dipper, unless you want a lesson in respect.

ka-LOOK-shish, ka-LOOK-shish, a man on stilts joyfully slinging joint compound. He is graceful and fast. Piece work makes the job fly, and can make you some good money.

And please, do not forget the forlorn minions, huddled in front of the 7-Eleven, hands in pockets and exhaling steam, desperately hoping you need some extra help today.

Many strong backs, twice as many skilled hands. So few they belong to have names. But let us remember a few: Mike and Marvin; Flaco, Orsy, and his brother Alex. Johnny the Painter; Fred the Mystic Plumber.

Once, amid that ecstatic cacophony, I heard a man call out to me. What, I said. What, I can’t hear you. I’m hurt, I finally heard him say—and then I saw the blood soaking through the leg of his jeans. Reminding us to use a sawhorse, not your thigh.

We all shed our blood. Some more than others. When Mike was killed, Marvin adopted his three boys. Any project worth doing is worth bleeding for.


Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


my admiration for this piece of imagery? I can tell that you have spent a lot of time in the building-trade. You have accurately described most all of the different people that you need to build anything from a house to a barn. I like how you didn't forget the lowly laborers and non-union help. You made them all stand out in the ways that show a deep respect for each trade.
The addition of sound-effects was delightful, and added greatly to the story. Even the sort of chaotic ending, lends an air of realism. The part about the adoption of Mike's sons was touching. Well done sir, well done! ~ Geezer.

It seems that the days and hours that people
are available for chatroom are staggered and
not a good match for most everyone. How about
if everyone just shows up at the door, whenever
they have a few free minutes?

Thank you, Geezer, from another geezer.

author comment

your title until I reached the end of the poem...
it require a pause... I felt the tears welling up in my ducts. I hate to cry, just ask my husband! I'd rather chew off my own foot, than cry...I feel my throat begin to tighten and my face scrunches up... my cheeks burn as a tear rolls down, then another. I manage to bite it off as I shake myself free and push my computer away from me as I gather myself...schooling myself for such weakness.

your poem is very well crafted, I enjoyed the imagery and descriptions. the sound effects are very effective. in-spite of myself, frailties, I enjoyed reading this. you should put a warning by your title, for folks like me: (DANGER...EMOTIONAL WET ZONE!!!)

and Marvin is a stone cold Hero!
*hugs, Cat

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

thank you! but talk about heroics...the heroic story is about the waves of immigrants who work the trades, so many who start with a broom or a shovel, so their kids can go to college.

author comment

In all phases of residential construction for 25 years. I’m a master carpenter, frame to finish, soup to nuts they say…you nailed it. “Banshee skill saws…” yeah well I’m kinda deaf now. You know the step by step processes of home building and they are covered here with all the texture of an oil painting. Now I’m going to install my sister n laws’s new exterior door. Lol


My new favourite read of the month,
loved the orchestral sounds and recognise them all.
This is what originality looks like, great stuff mate.

Yers, primo uomo, wiv singed eyebrows, Obi.

for my friend across the stormy Lake
I'll a Bushmill raise, for his sake
and all Irish poets I will solemnly bless
with a deep frothing pint of Guinness

author comment
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