Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism


In the past when people had not been paying
their time bills they were frozen in.
You could see them caught in windows
pouring tea, in the middle of a word.

Houses were known to explode, and
afterwards, neighbours reported a smell of time.
There was a grey market in time-plans,
two families squeezed in the same favourite hour.
Divorced men timeshared affairs.
Those who lost their jobs blew
their redundancies in front of the TV.

Time was nationalised, privatised,
globalised, spatialised. Time was.
The worst was in the time strikes
during the Age of Discontent.
Clocks struck by not striking.
A cobweb of rain would land on the traffic.
You walked into a wall of syrup.
The city nodded in midsentence, in the mood
in which one watches a commercial, absent
until new time was airlifted in

and people remembered being stuck
in the undersize desk of schooldays.

The dreams ran like TV except
the only picture on any channel was a clock.
Analysts concluded that while normal
dreams are timeless, in a time
without time people dream only of time.

g i l e s   g o o d l a n d
l o n d o n,   e n g l a n d

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Rev'd 2006/06/09