•forging titanium•

• forging titanium •
YouTube, ‘binge-watching’, blacksmiths, working steel.
There are, the ones,
that have done, a thing,
a thousand times,
and that’s real,
and that’s informative.

But the ones,
who venture,
into ‘the strange’,
and the unpredictable,
‘the unknown’, for them:
like the guy who wrought
a skinning knife,
out of a discarded gift
from a friend,
of an “unmanageable”,
bar –
(I like to think of it,
so as to more readily,
for my own amusement,
“relate”, to it,
which has been often used on me,
as “recalcitrant”.)
– of titanium,
when, he declaims,
“Man, oh man,
I hope this works,”
what a thrill!
Honestly, when he starts out,
he doesn’t even know
if he can “work” the stuff,
even though,
as he says,
he did do, presumably,
some peremptory “research”:
he, “Googled it”, I guess,
(Heaven knows, I’ve been there.)
and, learning,
as he goes along,
by trying it, I am caught, myself,
by me, ‘catching’ my breath,
and this doesn’t happen,
every day:
heating and hammering,
hammering and heating,
talking, and talking,
thinking aloud,
and, and all along,
letting me in –

“We’ll have to do some more scientific research on it.”


“It gives off’, no scale,
but what’s this sand?”

And, gathering the stuff,
and holding it up to the camera,

(I fascinate over his crenelated fingers, and thumb, and wonder,
at the work he’s done,
and – go figure – too,
though I doubt it,
if his wife appreciates him.)

– puts it, this ‘mystery sand’,
in a jar, these finger-gatherings,
allowing, that,
“maybe (he) can find,”
“to use that for,”
after he’s done, he says,
“some more research, on it.”

“Not forcing it:
whatever the piece wants to be.”

And, I can’t stop laughing,
unusual, for me.
Unheard of, actually.
Not a big laugher, typically.

Something is happening.
And, time is passing.
It’s all so familiar.
The searching.
I see me.

Hammering, hammering,
and heating, and cooling,
and re-heating, and, again, hammering, and re-cooling,
and talking, and talking.
And ‘normalizing’ the steel,
slowly, reverently,
to ‘honor’ the steel,
whatever that means.
And working, and sanding,
and wondering, aloud,
all along, inclusively,
as is his way,
seemingly, including me:
by the time he’s done,
from what he imagines –
forging discarded titanium,
into something real –
getting up to the heat,
what he wants,
and having got, as he allows,
at some point,
“this whole freaking mass,
up to melting temperature,”
with his titanium skinning knife,
he’s learned something,
and, I’ve missed it,
like a joke, you’d have to have been there, I guess, and yet,
my heart is pounding.
That internal anvil, in me,
is singing,
“What. Is. This!!?”

Subsequently, and
I love this, what he says,
at the end, of one:
(I’ve seen several, of his,
and, in my mind,
they tend to run together,
but what sticks, is this,)
when he says,
meaning nothing,
and all,
“It’s worth a try!”
~ Tim Burchfield



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