Als Ik Kan

Als Ik Kan*


Trademark of Gustav Stickley, Arts and Crafts furniture maker
*”To the Best of My Ability” in Flemish 

About a man (my husband) who fixes the car:
his tattoo “Als ik kan” the only part
of his arm I can see through the gap of the hood
checking the gap in the spark plugs
diagnosing the illness (old age)
considering the fuel injection and the belts and the things that whir and whir and keep whirring long after an American car would have given up
and I love this man who works to the best of his ability at everything
whose work is a talisman in a throwaway world
whose work lets us keep working the way we choose.


*Stickley’s motto. More on L and JG Stickley at

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