Death where is thy sting?
posted Thursday, 8 February 2007
It was a fat-barrelled fountain pen with a nib worth dying for. Not a Parker, not a Waterman, but a sweetly handleable embossed implement containing an ancient quill as its skeleton: a long core sprung against the nib’s base with its sharpened bony spindle reaching beyond the well of ink, while remaining clean by means of a filter or baffle towards the eye of the nib. The wielder of the pen aimed the cloven nib-end above his skin as if it were an antique tattooing device – soon to write an indelible phrase about an assumed indelible life. He had earlier fondled the cap as he unscrewed it from around the nib, unaware of the quill poised as a second fluted point to pounce out on a hair-trigger not only to enbed words into the skin but suck the same ink back in a gulp of self-syphoned poison. Poison letters from a poison pen. The double jab made him wince – one jab to inscribe, the other to proscribe. The words would remain for the rest of his days, so short-lived they must have been written with invisible ink: silently echoing the same words carved upon a hidden heart where the permanent ink was indistinguishable from its haemorrhaging message to nobody.
(Above written today)