Erica Funkhouser

Erica Funkhouser's most recent book of poems is Earthly (Houghton Mifflin).

Swarf Swarf

If you have seen the fine metallic filings flying onto the fellow who crimps copper into flashing and fashions pivot hinges from brass, you have seen it. This is not the late Bronze Age. There are no palace economies, only the economy of one man milling metal to earn the flimsy dollars that keep him fed. When you knock on his door he quiets the grindstone raises his polycarbonate visor and greets you swathed in a swarm of gold— not war gold or altar gold but the metalsmith’s hard-won residue: swarf.  

May 18, 2011 / Books & the Arts / Erica Funkhouser

Kerf Kerf

What disappears when an eight-foot plank is sawn in half, yielding two less-than-four-foot boards, a solid term for what’s lost to the teeth of separation. Neither sawdust nor error, nor the labor of gremlins waiting to wreak havoc on perfectly accurate measurements. Kerf—you will know it by its absence, like divided attention. Small consolation: each board as it’s halved releases both sides of a single scent, limewood for linden, pine for pine.  

May 18, 2011 / Books & the Arts / Erica Funkhouser