Elee Kraljii Gardiner

Excerpt from The 24 (2021)

once I left a stopwatch running all month
quietly it collapsed moments I did not use enough
pressed send I will rewrite into the perfect        future preterite
when and if you find me, I said hello tonight now


a lift from the screen, diagonal glow
searchlight and unli(gh)t house, hello
what time are you—


somewhere in sheet time I sidle
my hand into yours
and we ride slight disturbance out
among other faces


the week faded last year while here it’s morning
or I could whisper rearrangements of digits just as well
reorder the code, rechord the oratorio
I have samples that will make you sick all night


by three, heavy to the lip

a cup filled with rain I carried it
back through the dream

when I toss cup’s contents
down the runnel of his back

all those hours of archive

all those hours


every day at 10:44 I plan for something
and the bells don’t ring
and the reminders are cancelled
by windstorms or electronic hail, or grapefruits
rolling down the stairs, or that pack of wolves
swimming across the inlet—I feed them now
which is to say that I register hunger
and if I sometimes let them sample
so be it, they have swum a long way, coats sunk in common
salt—shivered snowglobe, flurried with teeth and licking
their lapsang
they stay in the yard, mostly

About this work

This work is excerpted from a long poem called The 24, for which Kraljii Gardiner wrote around the clock at different times every day, tracking the light, sound and noise in an effort to investigate ideas of time. Are multiple timelines as real as they feel? How does the length of the afternoon light affect the length of the line?

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