By Rémi Dubot (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Fight with a Clock and Reality

At first glance, it was nothing special.  An open floor space of living room, dining area, and kitchen shared a floor of burnt orange Tuscany tiles; a wall of windows covered in cloth beige blinds smudged the room’s colors with filtered sunlight.  A worn area carpet covered the majority of the living space, tufts of cat hair unevenly adorned the geometric patterns of maroon, blue, and shades of tan and brown.  A rustic wooden chest that served as a coffee table was covered in the mundane piles that accumulate when long days at work strain shoulders and and weaken backs: a pile of bills unpaid, a crumpled napkin, a magazine untouched for months, and a plate and fork abandoned.  In this dull setting, the hum of a distant refrigerator and the meticulous ticking of a clock lingered just outside the temporary force field she had developed around the perimeter of her zero-gravity chair.

On her knees, a piece of technological wonder balanced beneath her quick fingers – their stodgy dance establishing a dominance across the MacBook Pro’s keyboard.  This time-machine could envelope its owner in a temporary gap, folding a very small fraction of the fabric of time and space, and permitting a person to cease from the present existence.  The field enveloped her, blocked cares and concerns about schedules and obligations as she poured alternate realities onto a screen.  Like Alice and her mirror, the Time Avoider yearned to escape into the black and white world displayed on the flat screen, the curves and sharp points of the letters beckoning her even as the chill of the room crept around her cone of separation.  A purr erupted from the land of the dinner table as her work phone signaled a meeting reminder.  Defeated, she pulled the screen shut, the transparent panel simultaneously dropping to the floor, ushering in the sound of car tires on gravel, birdsong from the front yard trees, and the incessant poking of the ticking clock – bullying her to the shower and then to work.

Back Tuit

Handlebar-moustacheSunlight pummeled the windows, their square-frame lenses outlined through the white cotton curtains.  It was like those false windows on cruise ships that trick the passengers into feeling less claustrophobic, but with the intensity turned up exponentially.  It was as if she were a prisoner, and the Gestapo had just shined the tower spotlight directly into her room.  No.  It was as if Dr. Horrible had shined a gamma-ray freeze beam thingy at her, and the platinum-fiber portal shields, hanging from their rods, had protected her.

It was morning. And although her circadian rhythm had been apt to let her sleep until 0800 nearly every morning this past week of vacation, her eyes snapped open at precisely 0515 this morning.  Fifteen minutes before her alarm went off, her body’s parts all told her, “We know the score.  We get to be useful again this week.  Not like last week where you only used your imagination and went with the flow.  No, it’s time to go back to work and we get to carry our brain around for everyone and everything that needs it.  Don’t bother with the ‘Star Trek bridge door whistle alarm do-hickey,’  we already know.  Just sayin’.”

She had a sudden urge to chew her fingernails.  She thought of all the emails she’d ignored last week and wondered if she’d have time over coffee to get to them.  She envisioned a huge billboard with flashy lights around the edge, and in big letters – her “to do” list, neatly prioritized and made known to her.  Wishful thinking.  Ouch!  She plucked the amputated index finger nail tip from her front teeth and sat up.

Who was the asshole who decided at some point that 40 hours was an appropriate work week?  What huge conglomerate of waxed-handlebar mustached men and thin faced, hair-gel plastered women were “evil laughing” at this very minute at the massive amount of pain and anguish they were imposing on the working masses?  And what kind of “fucked-up in the head” did those damn internet bitches and bastards think she was – those idiots that sent messages about their pyramid schemed “get paid to sit on the beach” web conferences and “get rich without trying.”  She’d memorized some of their faces in the hopes she might run into one of them out-of-the-blue and give them a piece of her mind (not to mention specific fingers of both of her hands).

It was morning, on the day she had to return to the J-O-B.  “Lighten up,” she scolded, “at least you work with happy people …”

“They sure as hell better be,” she thought, as she self-talked her way into the car and turned the key, “or else there better be chocolate.”


down for the count
up for the bill
water, more water
swallow a pill

head full of broken
shut your damn lips
type in my logon
man this pain rips

check my to do list
throttle a yell
keep the damn light off
Lord, i'm in hell

headache is killing me
punch out this deadline
now make a b-line

sunlight and dizziness
throbbing and sleepless
poetry rounding
forehead pounding

oh for a temperate dark quiet room
to wrap me in stasis, a comforting tomb.

what then?

in a rush to be loyal.
promised and will pay.
what will become when the contract's done,
when disconnect from daily sways
into my creative
out of my furtive
hopes to write
experience and strife
when i have no more 
to show up for?

Time Taffy Pull

Old Town Square, Prague 06

come some slipping down time
tick kicking my mind
with tipping tock bind
to little brittle life grime

says to me, "get on the ball
with your crackle of fall
crumpled up memory, small
no more puttings in there, doll."

too much slice of that there
holds me from my large all
locks me in duty square
slugs me with my all

no ground, fly and do 
no hush, rush to get done
so much, counting on you

time not only doesn't wait
it pulls sinews like taffy,
strings hopes to a line 
where they stiffen 
and start to smell moldy