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Hand | Taryn Kaur


: grasping organ at the end of the forelimb of certain vertebrates that exhibits great mobility and flexibility in the digits and in the whole organ.

: the part of the body at the end of the arm that is used for holding, moving, touching, and feeling things.

: a pointer on a timepiece indicating the passing of units of time.

i) Let us assume that one can say he (almost) has complete control over the phalanges at the end of his wrist. The bones which he can flex or fist upon his own desires and motives.

ii) Take the generic gestures for example. Wave, middle finger, point, finger gun? Our friendly hand is used marvelously when attempting to communicate through more than spoken word. The lack of speech impediments should make your statement a great deal more firm, confident, demanding.

iii) You pointed groundward. Thick hair emerged from your cufflinked shirt and followed sparsely down the length of your finger until it met me at the tip your index. No locution was required.

iv) Psychology does not fail to provide power to our words, or lack thereof; Professor Susan Goldin-Meadow declares that we think through our bodies. Speak through our bodies. In a study, she states that ‘we change our minds while moving our hands’. She is adamant that as far as social interactions go, our innocent (and not so innocent) gestures are actually part of a perplexing cognitive process in order to obtain some level of supremacy. Does this resonate with our unwavering hunger for dominance amongst the rest of our peers?

v) New Testament- Timothy 5:22 - ‘Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

vi) You never allowed me to retain my maidenly, unspoiled manners. Like a bitch, I dropped to my sore knees at your request. Your bare knuckles entwined with that strip of leather; I knew nothing else. My ears so unfamiliar with your lexis yet so acquainted to the swift calls and motions of those strict limbs attached to your palm. I studied you at great length, you taught me to hear with my eyes.

vii) Winesburg, Ohio- Sherwood Anderson (1919). ‘On the trees are only a few gnarled apples that the pickers have rejected. They look like the knuckles of Doctor Reefy’s hands…Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples.’ And through this brief description of said doctor’s carpal joints, we begin to discover and unravel a bitter truth hidden behind his professional persona. As if this bony structure, fastened to our wrists with fatty tendons and ligaments could reveal our stories and secrets. Ruined, decrepit fruits, swollen cartilage, a man plagued with a warped, distorted past.

viii) For a second, however, we can put aside our Doctor Reefy, a mere character in a series of memoirs and explore our author further. Through his collection he conveys a strange and perverted conception of creative human impulse. He even personifies his own hand as a separate entity, to detach himself from his corrupt morals. One can assume that this may be why Anderson is notoriously regarded as sex obsessed, and his works, Freudian. "He raised the hands [changed from "his hands"] to caress the boy."

But in reality, can one simply free themselves from their own anatomical burdens and dismiss their behaviours, as if in relation to their bodies, it never occurred?

ix) Now think of time. Our grandfathers, our mantels, our carriages. We may often find ourselves watching these timepieces, in particular, the two distinct needles that dictate our whens and wheres, that allow us to create a synchronous logic in the backbones of our lives. And yet considering how they yield such immense power; we have still decided as an evolving, primatial species that their collective term is ‘hands’. The simplicity is almost ironic. We must learn to accept the inevitable countdown, the discipline.

x) Old Testament- Psalms 26:10- ‘In whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes.’

xi) My papery skin becomes contused, discoloured with arcs of purple and green. Between your thumb and four brutal pulps of flesh, my head is locked in obedience. I choke and splutter in response and your muscles around my nape tauten as you apply more pressure. But I am now trained enough to accept the degradation. ‘Ask for permission before you cum. I want to hear you beg for it’. You say all seventeen syllables of these fourteen sweet words in one solitary, single squeeze. Nothing more, nothing less. My eyes well.

xii) Song of Myself, Walt Whitman (1855)- What is less or more than a touch?’. Behind the beauty and profoundness of this abstract question, lies an effortless distinction between the ecstasy and intimacy that one’s hand can deliver, and the common, everyday contact we experience with nothing, and yet, with everything. We have the ability to derive such pleasure and distribute such pain. It begs the question of the debatable relevance of this simple forelimb. We may now begin to ask ourselves whether ‘touch’ is more likely a verb or noun, a state or instinct.

xiii) In the hush of our own privacy, you signal and direct. You, the conductor of your very own performance, the master of my marionette, the moans of our orchestrated piece. I follow your instructions in complete taciturnity, my arms are usually bound and so you provide for us both. My lips needn’t utter even a single word until the flick of your wrist allows such behaviour. But I am privy to this secret sign language you have deemed me worthy of comprehending. Yet still, you do not share, you simply commit.

A sadist’s most savage weapon are his bare hands, after all.


Hey! My name is Taryn and I'm a final year University student from Essex, studying English Language and Creative Writing.

I’m an advocate of speaking freely and openly regarding subjects which are underrepresented in the media and sometimes even considered taboo. My writing genres span from poetry to lyrical essay to academic articles and I’m a firm believer of supporting and empowering women through the power of written word- as well as spoken.

When I’m not trying to demolish the patriarchy, you can find me drinking tea or painting!

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