Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Jack Hammer

Jack Hammer

Jack Hammer (2002)

Your tool juts, a hammer head,
double-pronged, set between
your chapped legs as if nails
like scabs could be physically
pulled. Where in Alice
were you? A jack of clubs
etched on your chest. Your face lit
with strain from tightening the reins
with gloved and safe sex hands
and moral muzzles flash frozen
from bedrooms of the Virgin Queens.
All needs must be tamed, tossed

to better build
a ride you can drive home,
to test and cast
a wife to pound each night.

Today's image began as a fractal generated in Fractal Zplot that was then pounded and slapped around heavily in Photoshop. The poem was originally written after carefully viewing a sculpture. As for meanings, well, you're (almost) on your own.

Still, there's always the convenient psychoanalytical out. Freudians will insist jackhammers are phallic -- and sometimes the symbolism is anything but subtle:

No vibrator jokes, please...

Norman Rockwell's Wet Dream? [Jackhammer by Art Frahm]

Yeah, I think I get it -- along with a knot on my forehead from the metaphorical club. I guess I prefer my archetypes deeper under the surface -- and less leering and goon-squad driven. Frahm wants his small town shenanigans to be (winkwink) good fun. I'll (not make a) pass. Give me the dark underbelly of David Lynch's Blue Velvet to put the vices of Anytown USA on public display.

And, as we see above, there must be something to the Freudian jackhammer art/stew that often cooks too long and waters down everything to kitsch. From Threadless T-Shirts:

No heart-on-a-slab jokes, please...

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart [ to get my heart by Dust!]

I won't comment on this design -- because so many other people at the site already beat me to it. Here's some samples:

ResonantFish says: "That looks like a giant wang and nothing like a jackhammer... if that is in fact what it's supposed to be."

chbeeston says: "What's she doing with that plunger?"

turkeymonkey says: "the 'jack hammer' looks like an eye dropper."

But jack hammer imagery, if carefully cast, can resonate. I said earlier that you are almost on your own swimming in interpretive waters today. Now, scroll back up and re-read the poem, and then examine below a photo of the sculpture that served as the poem's initial prompt:

Hammer Time!!!

Jack Hammer by Susan Read Cronin

So, are you now drifting closer to shore? or just being swept further out to sea?

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