Pointless Pencil

Pointless Pencils

Perpendicular to the page

Pressing granite powder

Into predetermined phrases

By the palm holding it.


All stories, philosophies, and historical practices are scribed

With this is blunt, unforgiving


No paper can ask forgiveness,

No scribble can overwrite what is said.


Queens, kings, dukes, duchesses,

Haughty, beautiful beings,

Captivated by the glory of themselves.

Pretentious vanity and privilege, with no limits,

Their pride held close,

With torturous deception and heartless mandates,

pushed masses of people into submission.

For a pot of purple paint,

And velvet robes of victory.

Pointless Pencils like to write about victory.


It was a constant cycle

Of colonizers tormenting the colonized,

prizing the precious metals

taken to the ports of Portugal,

processed into paper swords

to control the people

in the places claimed.

Pointless Pencils wrote, leaving out the specifics.

Of course.

But when the first caveman learned to light a fire,

And sparks illuminated the Holy Roman Empire,

“The New World has gold, otherwise so rare,”

Many calculations, turned to E=mc²,

Pointless Pencils recorded indifferently.

Fact is simply a date on a timeline.


Pointless Pencils like to write quickly,

Brushing over injustice and associated misery,

Stiffened wood,

Guiltless internally.

Faster, faster,

Line after line,

Until the lead breaks.

A pause.

A moment in time.

When the victors stop writing our history for us.

And we,

Persistent, passionate, and periodically paranoid people,

Are told we too can write.

But how can centuries of history,

Recorded ever so blatantly,

Be captured in a 5-page position paper,

Or a meaningful source analysis,

Or an overarching thesis statement,

Trying to capture the human condition

When in truth,

People live and lie as pointlessly as the pencil that wrote the past

And is writing the future.


Yet we still search relentlessly,

For an imaginary eraser.

But if we sharpen the Pointless Pencils,

and turn the page,

History will be rewritten,

As if our beloved sun

Has started to age.


And Pointless Pencil will be pointless no more.


This spoken word piece is attempting to illustrate how history has always been written, focusing on the winners and the prosperity of some, and neglecting the torture that others had to undergo.  I had the quote “History is written by the victors” by Winston Churchill in my head the entire time I was writing.  

In general, all historical records are written, rather than oral, as it is more reliable and easier to pass down.  The idea of the pencil came from that, as everything is written with this simple tool.  It is described as pointless because, if it is unable to properly record the thoughts and processes of everyone, then there is no point of writing stories at all.  The play of these two words forms a cohesive alliteration, allowing me to have rhyme and rhythm while using the idea to weave the entire piece together. 

I referred to the “Pointless Pencil”, as a separate being that we could not control until “the lead broke”, symbolizing that lies can only work for so long, until truth breaks the ice, taking a well-deserved breath.  In each situation that I presented, I had a simple sentence showing how the pencil would react, such as, “Pointless Pencil likes to write about victory.”  I tried to characterize Pointless Pencil, as a tool that was not being used properly, being influenced by the “victors”, or those who took what they desired from others.  

The eraser is representative of those attempting to remove their wrong-doings; however, one cannot just undo the effects of historical practices, and the eraser is, therefore, an invalid solution.

Turning the page, and sharpening the pencil is supposed to say that our future should be recorded with more accuracy than there is currently.  Rehabilitation and reintegration is always an open door, waiting for people to step in, and initiate change. 

The idea of the sun aging is representative of human’s relying on a time limit as motivation.  If history is written as if the world is about to end, then it will be written gracefully, wholly, and fervently, like it should be written.  At that point, people no longer have control over their fate, and therefore, will spend their time recording their past with utmost precision.  The pencil used is no longer pointless because its job is purposeful.  This idea is seen in single lives as well – when an individual is given a set time to live, usually due to disease, their first reaction will be to bring closure before they pass away.  In the same way, the records of history should follow the phrase, “Live as if you will die tomorrow,” attempting to capture everything, rather than what sounds pleasing.  

Once these things are implemented, our history books will truly be representative of our progression as a species, while embracing our lackings as well.


https://giphy.com/gifs/writing-11ikeVaUfcXLWM/media (for all)


8 thoughts on “Pointless Pencil

  1. Dear Nazeefa,

    I cannot even put into words how amazing this piece is! Your writing never fails to impress. Some things that I liked about your writing is your vivid imagery skills which allow readers to completely imagine what your talking about. Also, the detail is impeccable because it helps to elaborate about the piece.
    Something to work on would be to give the piece a quick proofread for grammar mistakes such as in the second stanza first line, “By this is blunt, and unforgiving,”. The word “By” should be changed to “But” in order to make sense.
    All in all it was a pleasure to read this piece and can’t wait to read your next piece.


    1. Dear Zain,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my piece, and leave constructive feedback. I genuinely appreciate what you have to say since it is coming from a writer like you. I see the mistake now, and I will fix it right away.
      Looking forward to your comments!

  2. Dearest Nazeefa,

    This piece is incredibly articulate, written with such a sophisticated tone that I found myself sitting up in my seat in-real-life while reading it. I love your ability to take little things in our world and write them a story as if they had the most complicated history in the world. Keep up the great work.

    I have an incredibly minor suggestion but important nonetheless. Just watch to make sure that you check over your piece for mistakes “By this is blunt” I’m not sure if it was intentional, but I just thought that I should bring it up.

    It was an absolute pleasure to read your writing! I look froward to even more!

    With infinite love,


    1. Dear Jed,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my work! I am glad that you enjoyed the complexity of it since it is a stylistic choice that I always seem to lean to. I see the mistake in that line, and I can’t believe that it did not get fixed during my editing.
      Looking forward to your future comments.

  3. Dear Nazeefa,

    I really enjoyed this piece. I like how you incorporated the element of time in conjunction to the pencil and you added depth to a common object. You almost humanized it which is refreshing.

    My only criticism is that i think this piece would benefit from a transition between the first and second stanza “No scribble can overwrite what is to be said.

    The sculptures, because you need to build a little more of a connection. Without it seems kind of out of context.

    Overall, this is an excellent piece and I am delighted to have read it.


    1. Dear Kemi,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my work! I am glad you noticed my deliberate personification, as that was the main purpose of this poem. Additionally, thank you for pointing out my weak transition point. I never really noticed it until now, and I will fix it immediately.
      Looking forward to your future comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *