Monday, December 2, 2019

Calendar for Callender

Craig Callender, physicist,
Writing a lay person’s
Guide to the physics of time,

Floats a useful distinction
Between the “physical time”
That’s a Cheshire Cat of math,

Unnecessary except
For narrative purposes,
Yet comically annoying,

And time he terms “manifest,”
The embodied sort humans
Commonly experience.

It helps, his distinction, but
Still it seems odd that the queen
Of the hardest sciences,

Having ascended the throne
Via unprecedented,
Peerless powers of prediction,

Acts uncomfortably anxious
And fidgety discussing
The subjects of is and was

And whatever will come next,
Illusionist insisting
Magic must be only tricks.

I would love to find comfort
In exquisite symmetries,
In equable sleights-of-hand,

Time vanishing in pretense,
But I can’t. I remember
I’m beginning to forget,

And manifest time is all
I have, manifestly full
Of irreparable absence,

Scattered, scenic photographs
Of moments in the abstract,
The pages of calendars

No longer relevant, where
Constraints embodied in their
Perspectives hang, point by point,

The grids all tossed in the trash.
Broken, shuffled days pile up,
My next last year already past.

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