Dixon Enduro Pencil Sharpener

Impersonal, the 1930s Constructivist sculpture squats
on my shelf, the grinding cogs hidden within
the semi-opaque, brown plastic shavings chamber,
its handle in the upright position, a raised arm
about to drop and execute its unthinkable
act. The iron pillars on either side
have the profile of a turbine apostrophized
by Spender, or early Auden, as the functional
vernacular of power, containing within it
both hope and destruction, emancipation
and exploitation: the better life, and the price to pay
in the wearing down to uselessness.