Issue Four

Summer 2012


The Hanoi Intricacy

Machine conceit to measure the already known,
which keeps good secrets; a cantankerous affair
of clanking latches, locks; cat’s cradle; paradox
which stacks the odds, leaving the evenings undone.

Here, clear full-filling finds its own solution
drip by drop by ratchet lift, the flip and flop of
instability. Water’s unwinding is the key:
vortices oscillate, replacing weights, then wait.

Nothing depends from this: no pendulum. Its face
betrays no hands to finger figures. In pursuit of
its enigma, it will tell in time, articulate
in perpetuity, although it cannot tock.

Gilt lilies glister on its pediment of lead.

One day it dawns on you: this clock is not a clock.


Philip Quinlan



poppy closeup