the free hour

(october 2010 for the changing of the clocks)


3 is 2
2 is anew
1 went to 2
then 2 didn’t do
what it would
usually do.

beings from pluto must
do this with decades.
we limping millipedes
of rock 3,
we hope, ageing,
to re-live time just so,
stepping our million slippers
back to a decade ago.
not as if we never did it,
but to completistly,
with decision-consequence-timescale-knowledge behind us,
recifyingly ,
do it with wisdom again.

but no.
sci-fi was screened in the sixties,
it’s devices’ve come to be commonplace
(all but the hallowed mighty silver time machine).
the wider ‘we’ know we
will never be freshmen again
and make do, if we care to,
with the only generosity
our axes
(as in axis plural)
(as in clock hands and calendars)
will prescriptionally allow.

a yearly delight,
the free hour is for the free man
whose days are ashes
and fingers glue and who
in a cabinet deep in the cranium
can smile.
can swim in the space unafraid
of an hour replayed;
to whom tactile are tacitness
and the dumb words
in the numbness before slumber.
for he who files
unspoken words deeply mired
in the midst of expansive
conversations (whereby
but for a blink
in a snatch of breath
eyes meet with nowt said)

when we make it to 3
all normal service’ll be resumed,
we’ll stay staid, lumbered,
swine-backed, slug smeared
through a winter
where before we know where we are
in a 4 o’clock dusk
we’ll tiresomely pine
for the long yellow
afternoon shadows
which once nudged
the near white
of the light days of ours
when “allright?” meant “hello”
not “not dying yet,
still alive, how are you?”;
where for hours
our brows met the clouds
and when sleeping ’til
fourteen hundred hours
meant still arising to dwindling
daylight hours, cowering
for some berry-sweet spring
when our hour was taken;
evenings navy erased,
a black ever-nothing encroaching
on a shimmering haze;
for when bulbs performed
magic from under the mud
and we didn’t worry.

an eleventh century tower
that’s chimed a clockwork path
through numerous leap years
and meandering meantimes
three times
and it’s really 3.

though ancient it may be,
the bell is configured
by an electronic device
which has not been programmed
with seasonal time-slip nuances
and so the ancient tower
strikes a fourth time.

so what is time if just
a one and a zero and a zero and a one
and can i have one for zero
to slip into the fold
whenever i’m told something
i don’t like the sound of
and i want to enfold myself
into myself?

or does it not work that way?
hey- who has say?
can’t i take an english hour
to pluto and trade?
can’t i make in a clock-turn
that doesn’t exist
skeletons dance at beach parties?
bubblegum men
blend into foam parties?
trimester soul sisters
cajole at bloc parties?
can’t life carouse
for an hour without a number?

it seems it just has.

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