hourglass particulars


plagiarism on a beach in france

I’ve imaginated death:
dark rivers, darker seas,
the luminiferous earth,
its plantations
growing to that darkness
in headlong blind embrace.

I share my thoughts with Joana.

Oh how you’ve changed, amor.
The city is to blame,
its exhumations and exhalations,
obsidian and glass.

Determined ignorance answers
itself, I have no questions.
I study the sand devising a plan
to transfer grains by one and one
from one plane to another.

Here, beyond that one-way circuit,
where a bird may fly without the huddled
souls of passengers on board,
you’ll learn to live and possibly spell.

But the city’s nights they fall
in white
to colorless days
by the unforeseen.


With a silver platter,
a s’il vous plaît
and a pair of glasses,
a hotel waiter intercedes.

His tray holds matching drinks,
a cloudy bubbling of mysteries.
A decision is impossible.

He comments, apropos of nothingness.

All I know is this: what we get in life
is neither what we want
nor deserve nor merit.
It’s what we pay for.
Might I request your room number?

After our transactional analysis,
he gestures along the beach.

Observe the gentleman down there
with Zola beard and eyeglasses,
a week-old edition of Le Monde
held upside down,
and a microphone on a tripod.

He’s recording your conversation.

Alarm bells in my head
begin to ring on silent
and louder somewhere else.
Who might he be?

I have no importance, I’m just a follower,
mainly of Joana, but she’s illegal,
an extraterrestrial with
undocumented existence,
an identity card in Klingon.

She reads my thoughts.

He’s just a struggling writer looking for material.
We might give him something
to scribble about.

But first I’d like a drink,
otherworldly or not.
The one in your left hand will do.

I was looking for an accent character on my Surface keyboard. I thought I’d found it, but it turned out to be a baguette crumb.

lumens on parade (detail above)


25 thoughts on “hourglass particulars

  1. Some days I’m clueless (only on first cup of coffee). So this is incredibly beautiful and it seems to me you’re weaving into your poetry lyrics from Joana the musician or from a poet or from your own imagination? It is lovely, atmospheric, and yes, I can taste the baguette…

    • Thank you Clarissa. Subby, my subconscious, and I do the writing. Subby makes me change this and that, and I think it means one thing but I’m pretty sure Subby has other ideas that he isn’t telling me.

      I took stuff from my own stories, and Joana/Joanne is a character in another poem and in my stories “Reliquaries” and “Danta in Black.” Maybe others? She’s a bit based on two real women, and after that Subby won’t tell me. I don’t know about imagination, in case it isn’t obvious I see myself as the gentleman with the upside-down newspaper in this scenario. 😎

    • LOL, as long as your sense of humor remains, life (although we don’t realize it) is perfect! I like poems about the writing processes of my fellow-bloggers, thanks!

    • Glad you enjoyed. I get to escape to somewhere else when I write as well, and I suspect there’s a bit of wishful thinking in there, given that it’s mid-Winter in Australia. 🌧

    • Subby’s an embarrassment sometimes, but he can’t help it. You have to be understanding: it’s part of accepting yourself. He wanted that line and he says thank you for noticing it. 🙂 In my head. I would have some concerns if I heard him out loud. 👥

    • Thanks AKK. I sometimes use dreams in fiction: they’re a gift if you can remember them. What works for me is to run through them in my head the moment I’m awake. 🛌 Otherwise they evaporate like morning dew.

  2. Baguette crumbs! Presumably a whole baguette was once involved…and wine…and cheese?
    Ah, okay. I was going to make a comment about the man with Joana being a writer and the man on the beach being a writer and thus the plagiarism, but I just read the comments and no longer believe this is so.
    Beautiful work, as always. Love the art!

    • Yes, a baguette, transient wine, cheese, mice, and neighbors saw a red Corolla leaving the scene at high speed. I love “involved” and “involvement,” they sound like a crime has been committed. 👮

      Makes sense to me, auto-plagiarism, of oneself. Or maybe someone thought plagiarism sounds like “time on the beach” in French. If they did, I wasn’t involved. ☂️

      Thanks Sascha. My computer says thank you too. 💙

    • I guess the crime would be related to how hard the baguette may have been.
      I plagiarize myself all the time, of course, I call it trying to find the right way to tell a story, but someone reading might think I get stuck and can’t think of anything else to write.
      You’re welcome…does your computer have a name? In French? 🙂

    • “We believe the weapon used was a baguette frozen in liquid nitrogen which later defrosted and was eaten by mice.” This is why I don’t write mysteries.

      I think it’s fair enough, that’s what I started doing last weekend when I was idea less but then I went off at a tangent.

      Only a total nerd would name their computer. But now I’m thinking Florence might be better than Plasma 63.

      I’m a bit careless a lot of the time, but anyway I took certain liberties with your comment. I hope okay. 🙂

    • You can take all the liberties you like with my comment. My internal, cringing, grammar nazi approves.
      Ah, you’re welcome (see caught it that time) Florence. Bet she sings like a bird.

  3. You made me want a true French baguette, Steve. God, how I miss France! I thought it was impressive you got that circonflexe accent (the upside down V) for s’il vous plait! You can never get that unless you have a french keyboard or have some fancy keystrokes that you need to be a major computer geek to figure out. I love how your mind -ok, the Subby can really play tricks in there- works here and it makes magic. A wonderful piece. Now, I need to find a baguette, butter and jam…yum!

    • I probably have skills. Either that or I just pasted it in from a google search. 😄 My remnants of French were actually taught to me by a friend at uni, ie, silver plate and murky buck ups, but I’ve never had to use them. Fortunately. 😜 Glad you enjoyed.

      Oh dear, now I’m thinking washed rind cheese and quince jelly. That must be Subby. I blame him for everything. 🙂

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