But Does It Float

Cedar, Ash, Nylon. 2015

“But does it float” was a result of many factors. Namely, while trying to figure out joinery from an old woodworking book I came across a line that stated, “A man is not a woodworker until he has built his first canoe” I was immediately taken by the challenge. I worked to basterdize a traditional 16 foot x 30 inch canoe design and smushed it into an 8 foot x 41 inch design.

And in the end, I made a fat, squatty canoe, who is trying really hard to be a canoe. Although every attempt brought her further away it. She is by all functional standards a failure. Her rudder will sink her, her spine will most likely cause her to veer off course, and her swollen belly is not designed for a captain.  She is floating in air, though her supports are visible, and it is questionable if she will ever see the water. With her equally distorted companion, She hangs somewhere between function and dysfunction in total confidence. Unfazed by the question of her worth “but does it float”.

If I should build a boat,

I’ll call her Judith.

Not because some guy on boat forum says,

“Boats should be name after women

because it takes an experienced man to handle them”.

But because, she was is story, she is a symbol,

She inspired carravagio, goya and countless others to paint her bravery.

She is a feminist writer,

He is a queer theorist,

She is a contemporary fuddydudy

Whose strength is forgotten.

 

If I should build a boat,

I will sweat

I will bleed

My hands will become a map of splinters that point me back to our labor.

And I will then be a man.

Because According to a builders field guide from the 30’s

Every true man has built his own canoe

But my boat will be a body

Which will take on water

Veer off course

And be difficult to captain