Fall 2003 vol 3.1
About His Influence, Clock was Once Confident
Thom Ward
but now finds himself pondering track meets and mice,
superfluous phrases like for goodness sake, crying out loud.
From this vantage point, on the edge of a kitchen stool,
it won’t be long before his brain tries to shop for something
redeemable about shopping. Maybe a movie instead,
a flick that confuses its narratives—big, complicated ideas
articulated by small, overpaid people. Bending down,
Clock threads a lace through the grommet of his white buck
and makes a gorgeous cleat, only to discover, in the oppressive
fluorescent light, his socks are royal and navy blue.
Oh well, another bungle in the great sweep of history’s
miscalculations to which he is not immune. Who decided
what colors are primary anyway?—lock thinks
as the second hand on his watch begins its victory lap.
He’s going to be late for himself, the result of mulling over
statistics and rodents, the sharp affinities among the elements
of matter and those of mind. Clip, clip, clip, some argue
Clock’s just a frustrated barber, can only create by taking away,
the pencil he uses all erasure, no lead, can’t remember
what it feels like to go on a date. Could it be because cologne
rhymes with alone? He’s not thrilled about the prospect
of living forever, existence without climax or dénouement.
What bliss to have a pair of matching socks, the chance
to disappear from himself in a leading role that shifts
with each performance. Such are the thoughts Clock entertains,
white bucks, jacket and scarf, waiting for the phone to ring,
that conversation he won’t have to introduce and sort,
guide and maneuver, lead to one of those meaningful
or meaningless disclosures. It would be nice if someone else
offered to make the temporal decisions, pour him a drink
from this single malt twilight, some gesture to acknowledge
the work he’s accomplished and yet to accomplish, orchestrating
a progression of points along the infallible coordinates
of now and when.