Why time and I don’t particularly get along (a poem)

A new typewriter poem.

I can pull in however many directions
but still come up against the limits
of physiology and conditioning

I never used to associate little aches and pains
with my encroaching mortality
now it’s the first thing that comes to mind
even when I know the difference

I can’t blame time—we invented time
so to accuse time
is to turn it back around to myself

Though I had no hand in the invention of time
I observe its principles and properties
and participate in its propagation and perpetuity

The box with the clock no longer occupies
a place on my shelf
but I find other devices
to help me keep track—
a strange price to pay
to ensure we all show up in the same place at the same time

Of all the places I could have been
I chose this one
on account of a coincidence of names
and an association with squirrels

There’s plenty of them to be seen
though they pay little attention to me
preferring instead to chase each other
up and down the trees

The presence or absence of any of these things
has made little difference
in practical terms

Perception has a way of being persuasive
that nothing or nobody else can match
the way an intolerable itch persists
until it is scratched
so much the result is blood

It does no good to get angry
the color of everything changes—
perception has a hand in that, too

And to be convinced that nothing will work
is to pretend you are a ghost
shrouded in silence
encased in a bubble amongst the living
who walk through it at will, without repercussions

I don’t have visions
but I sometimes see shadows

I think I know who they are
but they disappear when I turn to look
so I am never really sure

No matter

I could use the advice once in a while
but I’d ignore it half the time anyway
distracted by those little aches and pains
which I go to great lengths to excuse

I am curious, but really don’t want answers

Without the questions
there’d be less to hope for
and I like to have hope

Without it, most of my days would go to waste
instead of being incremental steps
towards whatever it is I am hoping to find—
or whoever I’m hoping to find
because I know what I want

I haven’t found the person I want to have it with

That thing we invented to track the duration of our lives
and coordinate our activity in the meantime
says I’m a lot closer to the end
than I am to where I began

They say it’s never too late to start
and trot out plenty of examples to illustrate
but the sweetness of sugar is harder to tolerate
as one gets older
a small amount will do the trick

But I don’t want small amounts
I want the full sweetness
undiluted

It doesn’t have to last forever
just long enough to carry me through
the rest of the way

I’ll be perfectly happy then to toss all the clocks
and go by the light of day
letting circadian rhythms have their way

If nothing else
there’d be no need to reset the clocks twice a year—
so much for time as a way to keep track

Why am I thinking about time?

It’s a beautiful day
I should be out in the sun
breathing in the afternoon
and pretending I know where I’m going
for a little while

It’ll be good to get the blood flowing

(28 May 2018)