Clarity

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Hands Turning Hands

How long is a minute?
If you answered 60 seconds,
then how long is a second?
Save your neurones the workout:
I don’t want you to cut bits into pieces with your mathematical magic —
I’m not buying it.

I’ve lived seconds that stretched out across sandy deserts and sleepy states,
and minutes that measured millimetres, so microscopic I might have missed them.

What does it mean to turn the hands of a watch?
Hours of daylight and geographical position
creating the pretence of an authority that is not mine.

This train is a blink in the frame of those waiting for the barriers to be raised so they can pass the tracks, but a long and rumbling line in mine as my bum goes numb, warming the seat.

Is there someplace I can fly where I can turn back the hand to when yours was last in mine?

The Capital

With as much starch in wardrobes as on plates,
the stiff neck comes with a stiff skirt.
Watch her swish by.

Don’t take it personally if she doesn’t see you,
the tip of her nose is in the way.

The Fashion Capital
The Fascist Capital
The Racist Capital
The Race-to-the-Top Capital

I can’t be arsed with the capital.

The water comes out of a tap.
The sand is dust on brick.
The only mountains are the piles of dog shit
they are too good to pick up.

Watch her swish right into
Dino’s digested dinner.

Paper Boats

Folded carefully, the boat will float.
Resting on the water’s surface, the boat will become damp.
Soaking over time, the boat will sink.

Water rusts scissors. Water erodes rock. Water drowns paper.

Look around. The world has been carefully crafted and prudently packaged. We live in sand castles. We sculpt and shape our surroundings and then pat ourselves on the back, because our life span is a single grain compared to that of the earth, and we won’t live to see the tide come in.

Make a paper boat. Watch it bob up and down on the surface. Feel calm, maybe even pride. But be aware that the boat will be swallowed by a wave so soft that its foam will never grace the shore.

My Invisible City

Sussurat is a city of dust and air. Varying ratios of each make up the walls of the homes and the grounds to be roamed. The inhabitants float through life, with an evolved sense of delicacy and prudence. Trees aren’t blown in the wind — they whittle away until more dust settles. Pages of books are turned with whispers and stories are written with the tickle of plume on parchment. Life goes by in a dreamy drift until the day when the Outsiders arrive. With one clearing of their raspy throats, the city’s foundations crumble. Upon finding a shapeless mass of air and dust, they leave, convinced that there was nothing there to begin with.

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Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili – my new favourite book.