Posted: March 23, 2010 in Poetry

Yesteday I had the most ever hits on this blog… kind of. Apparently I got over 50 hits from a site called Alpha Inventions that auto-surfs blogs. Since none of those hits ended up as a click-through to more than just the home page, do they really count?

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a good day.

CONTEXT: May, 2008

Here is the third of the trifecta of poems I wrote trying to find one to do at the CapSlam Finals that year. It was Shadow Boxing that won out (and helped get me a spot as team alternate that year).

This one didn’t really come out as a great slam piece, but I still like the poem (though much like my complaint about the Otter line in Paradise, I cringe when I read the mongrel’s howl couplet in this one).

This piece was inspired by one of the low points in my life. When I first moved to Ottawa, things didn’t go well. Sitting in a dark basement apartment, wondering what the point of my life was.

An interesting thing that came out of that was once, when I was really down, I phoned a friend back in Victoria… Ruthanne. At the time I had no idea that one day she would become the most important person in my life.


The clock marks time
In the digital silence of a stopwatch
Or the mechanical tick of a
Tightly wound spring.

Shadows move as a reflection
Of time or motion,
Though they are neither.

The sun and moon move and
Move without moving,
Turning being into science
As a thought of relativity,
Like trees whizzing past
On the side of a highway.

The clock slows, then stops,
Freezing time to a moment.
All is still
Until a spider scurries along
The wall
Looking for an anchor
To start time again.

Time slips backwards
Slowly, then picking up speed
As what you are dictates what you were –
The malleability of history
Reflected in the glow of time.

History is memory
Unless memory fails
And there is no one left
Who was there.
Then history is what we are told.
A slip of the pen and
History is changed.

Light spills across a basement floor
Nearly reaching my shoes
But I pull my feet back,
Keeping the hour at bay
A little more.

No candles lit
As they defy all attempts at control –
Passing the time as the wax drips
Drips, drips down the base.
Minutes pass, stretching into hours
Or contracting into seconds.
Listening for the signs of life –
The creak of a door
Or a footfall on my ceiling,
Their floor.

Or a raven’s cry.
Or a mongrel’s howl.

The glow of a digital clock
Replaces the sun
Ans it cries out its lie
As the numbers flip forward or back
In a mocking hum,
Telling me that time is my enemy.
Every second calling for change
Or change or nothing.

My muscles fail
And I sit, staring at that clock,
Screaming in voiceless rage.

We measure time by standardizing
Breaking the world into manageable
A day is a day is a day
Or a week
Or a year.
Measuring based on observations,
Assuming the world is unchanged,
Or the universe or our brains
And minds and spirits
Witness the passage
All exactly the same.

What colour is red?
What volume is loud?
What speed is fast?

As that spider creates
A suspension bridge
Across the vastness and
Expanse –
An eternity of effort
Brushed aside in a moment.

Another minute.
Another breath.
Another chance for change.
Shadows gone, or expanded
Into night.
Was it evening leaving
Or morning unborning
As we slip back into
The previous night
As time twists around
And slips around.

Through the dust of lost ages
Or the rubble of a fallen world
Flowing through our feet,
Swirling around and binding us
In time

And the number changes.
The clock ticks
And the sun and moon sit and move

And we have one more chance
To rise, cast off our chains
And refuse to be prisoners
Of time.


Next is a littel trip through Oz moxed with a big match of my own neuroses.


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