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Owens, Elisabeth, R. (ed.) / Encore: more of parallel press poets

Annucci, Marilyn
The origin of the clock,   p. 10

Page 10

The Origin of the Clock 
She loved his small hand 
resting on her big hand 
but learned in time 
she was the smaller one, 
alone with the kitchen sink 
or broom and meat sauce 
in a pan, while he ran 
out with sticks and bikes 
and in again. She felt 
herself grow long 
and thin, a second 
self that circled, 
watched: each day 
hastened separation, 
drew them back again. 
It nearly broke her heart, 
the North and South 
they startlingly became. 
And always, how they got 
to touch-restful, grateful, 
before the pull again. 
Marilyn Annucci 
Poet's Statement 
"The Origin of the Clock" is part of a series that includes poems
on such disparate ori- 
gins as sleep, pain, cereal, lesbianism, the alphabet, the tampon, the snow
shovel, and 
he-man she-woman sex. I try to write these "Origin" poems without
much prior thought, 
spontaneously, often deciding on the topic moments before I begin writing,
and some- 
times taking requests from friends. That way, images, metaphors and associations
from my unconscious and surprise me. I suppose I am trying for as natural,
unfettered, an origin as possible-at least until the poem emerges. Then comes
revision, where "nature" and "nurture" can duke it out.
     In thinking about this poem, too, I realize that my understanding of
time is linked 
to human relationships. Time makes sense only in relation to people and events.
My first 
intimate relationship was with my mother. I have often felt sorrow that we
cannot stop 
time or prevent the inevitable schisms or pulls back to one person or place
and toward 
another that occur between people because of aging, experience, geographical
and so on. 

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