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This morning, this is what I wanted to do to our alarm clock:

I’m still having trouble accepting the fact that I’m still recovering from this year. It is taking too long. Yes, I can ski hard for a couple of days, and do just about everything I could before, but the difference is that in years past, I could ski hard for a couple of days, rest, and then do it again. This time the rest has become days of crashing fatigue (a symptom of the hysterectomy that my doctor told me was normal and could last a couple of years. Years).  I like that phrase, “crashing fatigue”, but I’m struggling with the realities of this new bod. And enjoying it quite a lot, so there’s that. I’m not going to be all whines and sniffles today. Nope. I’m going to be naps and poems even at work somehow, and even though I’m at here until late I’m going to try not to let the teens get me down.  Rather, I’m going to let them inspire me, as they do, more often than not.

This was running through my mind all day:  “Burn the alarm clocks. My brain can’t work when we are all so tired, and work is what makes us tired. So burn the alarm clocks.”  That got me to thinking about how imagining the way we wish the world could be is a job for art. And also, for some reasoning, of Salvador Dali:


Wouldn’t it be nice without time? I think it would. I think it could be great. I know that I, for one, could do without it. In my a great re-imagining, I tried to kill time. Actually, to burn it.


Burn the Clocks


After the collapse, the call went out:

Burn your clocks! One week until the day of burning. 

Three days in, a small decree:

We can’t burn the metal and plastic–and wristwatch gems and heirlooms of course you’ll keep–but we are doing a Great Dismantling,

yes, there will be a bonfire of time, so come on the day and watch as the faces are broken and the hands are bent. 

At first there were rumbles,

 It will never work, we said.  Without time, without its structures and promises, civilization will disappear! This hustler’s been our bedfellow for far too long, and these untimed days will never work. 

Nevertheless, we tried,

we came on the day to unhinge and loosen the springs, because we all knew the ticking had driven us mad, and because after a great falling,

it is best to try something new.


The clock pyre burning was a jolly affair; how we sang! Oh we danced once unshackled

from those constant harbingers, how we joined hands and swung!  Even as the night grew milky with day, we continued to shake and twirl.

The farmers grew slaphappy and nearly slaughtered the cocks, a sacrifice to a new and timeless God,

but spared them at the last, not minute, then what? At the last sigh.

No one needed to go home early.

Anything old, anything Grandfather, any cogs and hinges that ticked in earlier centuries could stay as art,

but would stand, demechanized and mute as signs of the times of time. Anything cuckoo or gong would still report,

but only twice, once at daybreak, and once just before midnight–the only hours that need announcing.


After the burning, we learned that it felt good to arrive at a responsible hour,

so most of us did.

We learned to linger longer over tea and conversation, to keep making deep in the night, to rise early to finish,

and we never stared at the dreaded minutes in dead hours.

We napped our way out of black consciences, and allowed loving sigh-lengths to arch and stretch and curl warmly around our feet.

We learned, re-learned, to record moving years in seasons, in risings of dough, and in kettle whistles.

But no, we did not slide backward in ages,

we still had our boardrooms and attentive note-takers (notes not minutes, we called them), 

but performed our commerce with less urgency,

because more than time had grown senseless in after the Great Turning,

or as some have called it, the Great Return.

Our heartbeats can grow quiet in the night now, because morning will understand, now that time is antique.

We’ve decided the mirrors are next.


Hmmm. Happy Wednesday! I can’t believe it is Wednesday again. What are your Wednesdays like? Do you want to smash your alarm clocks?