THE 26-HOUR DAY

POEMS

 

“Our rituals are themselves created by the very objects they mimic to control. Thus, the rituals of poetry were rehearsed by language long before the poems began. Olivia Clare knows and celebrates this numinous reversion. In the midst of her vocables, she speaks for meaning where the meanings areThe 26-Hour Day is a compelling debut.”

Donald Revell

 

“Olivia Clare spends her poems like erotic currency, treating us to a greater understanding of our fetishistic carnality, and its attendant mortality.  I love her work.”

Mark Richard

 

 

You can order The 26-Hour Day from New Issues Poetry & Prose. Use the code "indie40disc" for a 40% discount at ShopWMU. You can also order the book on Amazon.

 

“What Gertrude Stein taught Ernest Hemingway about the glories of repetition, the mistakenness of the pronoun, is taken to a luminous 21st century understanding in Clare’s loving hands.  I can almost say I love our language again, reading this tender book.”

Claudia Keelan

 

 

 

The speaker in these by turns surreal, hagiographic, oneiric, fabular, elegiac poems keeps what Emily Dickinson called 'Esoteric Time.' 'Within' time. In the title poem, a dark berceuse, the hour is 'black bear o'clock,' a spell beyond tell-able time for which not even the 26 letters of the alphabet, evoked by the title, are a guaranteed talisman. 'Cryonics' admonishes a depressed friend, 'caught / in an hourglass neck / of cells not dividing,' to 'revive: / child the father / of the sand.' References to seconds, minutes, hourglasses, sands, clocks, gnomon, dials, and all manner of measuring, counting, and 'telling' time abound, as the speaker, with widdershins pluck, provocatively reverses, transgresses, and teases such limitations to fashion worlds that exempt themselves from any static or linear notion of past, present, future, or place. We shuttle among multitudinous realms: myth, pre-Raphaelite painting, fairy tale, classical music, Europe, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Jerusalem's Western Wall, and even an imagined future in which a mother might meet an unconceived child and dead wives return and return again. 'If no one asks me [what Time is],' wrote St. Augustine, 'I know; if I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not.' By attempting to word that ineffable and manifold 'within time,' Clare conjures a cosmological wunderkammer of a first book, '[k]indred, in a flickering place.'

Lisa Russ Spaar

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© 2019 Olivia Clare