This poem is taken from Stand 235, 20(3) September - November 2022.

Oz Hardwick Titanic Overture
The gentle hum of an orchestra tuning questions dimensions, monitoring the bleed between now and not now, adjusting the margins on white laid foolscap and allowing a margin for error. The digital age is in retrograde motion and I’m thin as paper, my folded joints gathering dust and showing their age like contours on an antique map or staves on a score for small orchestra and rusty weathervanes. Sooner or later the murmur of reeds and strings will ball itself into a melody I last heard on a pianola in a café by the coast, thumbing its nose at the notion of life as linear sequence. Clocks spring forward and fall back, while watches watch the birdies wake and drift like ashes from a still sky. A lightning conductor beats time with a cracked baton, beats time into submission, beats time thin as paper that flutters like a sandcastle flag. The sea is a storm of sinking ships, their orchestras tuned and poised to play.
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