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FIXING THE CLOCK by Jenny Martin

Arts Richmond

Online - 17 August 2020

FIXING THE CLOCK by Jenny Martin

Lacking booklet or logic

I go at it reckless, clicking back hands

to trick it into the past before it broke.


Ear to the mechanism, I listen for the tick

like a heart. The cogs are locked.

No bells, no cuckoo, no cockerel.


No dawn cracking against the sky like egg yolk

slipping down the side of a valley.

The dark is hard like a cave wall I smack into.


Blackest, at a guess I’d call it gone midnight.

I prick my finger on the second hand

and my blood turns the three into an eight.


There are two infinities here.

What I myself wouldn’t give

to be correct even twice a day.


With a plastic toothpick I jack and jerk

the teeth of the cogs until they turn free.

The tick-tock clops its distant horse towards me.



from ABOUT TIME, the 2019 anthology of shortlisted entries from The Roger McGough Poetry Prize. Copies of this Anthology can be purchased for £5 including P&P from Arts Richmond.

FIXING THE CLOCK by Jenny Martin

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