“Needle-Nose Pliers” by Josh Parish

Josh Parish


Do you know what is never the right tool for the job?
Needle-nose pliers. Anytime I use needle-nose pliers
it is with hopeless resignation. I stare at a thing 
needing fixing, shake my head, and say, “I guess I could try 
needle-nose pliers.” I do not blame whoever invented them.
They look like a very good tool. Would you like to twist, pull, 
or push something small in a tight little space? Here is a tool 
where one end fits your palm and the other end grabs tiny things.
In the middle are even wire-cutters, should you need to cut wire 
or something similar. The truth is: Would you like to strip, shred, 
or otherwise destroy a thing, plus also pinch all hell out of that 
soft cushion of flesh at the base of your index finger? 
Then here. Here are the needle-nose pliers.

from Rattle #79, Spring 2023


Josh Parish: “For me, a good poem delivers the same feelings as other small, simple things that surprise you with their potency: ships in bottles, old music boxes, wool sweaters, hornet stings, well-practiced card tricks, 7-Layer Burritos, hangnails, etc. I write hoping to evoke similar feelings, occasion to occasion, in the reader.” (web)

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