For Simple Simon and Fart Barfunkle on the 50th Anniversary of The Boxer

Some would rather be the hammer
I’d prefer to be the nail
Wouldn’t you rather get whacked
Just once
or twice and then rest
In some comfortable place
Than get smacked for the rest of your life
In the face?
As though there’s some glory
In being a hammer?
As though you were not just as much
of a tool?
And nails besides can escape with ease
You never see hammers like that
In the streets or sidewalks
Or off on a trail
Oh no I’d rather be the nail


Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at and on twitter @elliot_sperber