A Model of a Machine

I’ll begin by saying that objects can be unintentionally beautiful. Consider the simplicity of three or four self-aligning ball bearings, the economy of a compass. Brilliant, no? We thought so. We had confidence in architecture and design beyond the base commercial. Stage settings, furniture, typography, everything came with a moral mandate. The machine was important, of course. At four o’clock in the morning ideas came effortlessly, as if out of the air, the way a teapot or a pan comes cleanly out of the cupboard. In the blank space between the following day and the previous night, you see the beauty of a propeller, for instance, and think, yes. I want that silver metal to mean something more than just flight.


From A Doll for Throwing by Mary Jo Bang. Copyright © 2017 by Mary Jo Bang. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org.