Ecstatic Temporality for Dummies

Matthew Tierney


Hat brims, lapel pins, taupe vests.
The class of portrait photographers
with vintage cameras
hops around me, my pint, the patio.
A single robin settles on a point of view.

Idealists ask grandiose questions.
Realists spring a pop quiz.
Like, when stranded on a desert island,
with what material and how large
should one spell out HELP?

Seconds, days, years,
we feel them pass psychologically.
Brain scientists can now use
reverse psychology
to transport you to the Roaring Twenties,
the Left Bank, Boulevard Saint-Germain—

Probably not your idea of a good time.
Forget I said anything.

(One hand encounters the other.)

A ladybug plays dead on
the coast of my dampened coaster.
A plane burbles above my big wobbly head.