Endi Bogue Hartigan


5 poems

someone was giving away a chandelier

someone was giving away a chandelier
on the curb side / a heap of chandelier parts in the grass

/ the instrument a kind of dusty faux gold crustacean,
an 8-legged industrial crab, barnacle-fluted, embossed, bent lily-socketed

overlaid with chains, like washed up sea kelp tangled and devoid
of suspension, a grotesque heap of decorative loot

/ it was tempting to want to lift it up
/ tempting to want to carry the unluck of it

home hanging from my wrists, to give it its legs for light
/ to be a makeshift ceiling for it, making sure 

it didn’t swing too hard and scrape me or strain /tempting to say
all industrial flotsam might be rained on, and I and I

was information-tired, wired with update and accumulate,
I want to be wetter than time, neck-drenched,

to water-talk or lisp / I was tempted to take anyone
with me by the wrist | hiddendime | | miscountfont | | electionfervor | 

take the informational weather of a person by the narrow of the
wrist, take any coagulated speech cluster of a working person,

take eyelashes, seconds, denials, furies, soiled sleeves, purchase,
by the thin of the wrist, walk 8 or 8000 blocks together, whatever it takes, 

to enter, gather beneath or amidst
some potential chandelier beneath its event of barely consequential light.

/ it might be dark in my study,
I might be broken of hope.

I might have a chandelier like nobody lighting nothing but this
| diminvitationforever |


hour-entry: Start the stopwatch. The animal was a chandelier, no the animal was a shovel

Start the stopwatch. The animal was a chandelier, no the animal was a shovel, no the animal was the industry of pocketwatches and chandeliers and shovels. The animal was Frederick Winslow Taylor performing industrial time studies of other men in a factory shoveling. The animal crawled into the people and they crawled into the animal daily. The people in the animal go home to actual animals, Laboradors, and Kool-aid colored parakeets and heart-full children and their hearts are soft as oysters soft as suture leaks soft as lost time, forgotten weeks. Stop.

Start the stopwatch. There was light in the factory late, late, and Frederick Winslow Taylor held a stopwatch in the late 20th century factory light. Frederick Winslow Taylor held a stopwatch and started and stopped it to men shoveling, to arrive at the most efficient method to industrialize factory-time. The privilege to crawl into the animal was an economic privilege to hold the industry of light or time in the animal shoveling. The stopwatch had a mechanical heart and it was more dependable than any palpitation it cut through. But this is only where the study starts, because the animals turn inside out daily and emerge from stopwatch cocoons. The moths flutter into light as faux home. Children can be depended upon to have their own clocks. Frederick Winslow Taylor could be depended on to appear, looking backward, as a heart made of cuttlefish bone. The parakeets pecking cuttlefish bone appeared to peck at pale hearts and the pecking kept their beaks sharp.


the longest hour is the shortest

/ the longest hour is the shortest too where you are merely an eye
| anttime | | circleconstruction | 

in the longest hour there was | wetantpetal | | fiddlepanic |
| anotherAmericannumber | 

/ unimagineable shootings occurred every several days and the hour absorbed them
the longest hour a crack in time | largelargerheadlines |

/ the longest hour / a nesting doll in which smaller hours arose out
of the flowered tight belly of the hour with complete / specific lives

/ whose thin-skin nasturtium whose sister whose license
/ absorb I can’t
I can’t remember the hour exactly, only hours that nested in or from it

whose | headlineligature | | petalwrinkled | | lastwordword |

/ I cleaned to absorb what I hadn’t heard / how I can admire the ant’s industry
then mop its route industriously
what an hour is to an ant, what a second is to an automatic weapon
| 20dead | | 12dead | | shooterdead | nauseous reading

/ what grief is through a list / what an hour is to God’s kiss
/ miscounted at first 

/ the longest hour made headlines into eruptions
/ made strangers into cousins 

may we love all strangers more
| hellowetnasturtium | | largelargerheadlines |


if I open up the clock,

/ what I meant to measure clunks like language, falls / all the clocks,
instruments, all instruments, cares

/ instrument after instrument in the tightness
of timed air / excessive instrumentation, new kitchenware, excessive
instruments of fear, 42% here home with guns, and cell phone welcomes
/ mundane instrument, melodic instrument too 

/ the instrument of ribbon clusters falling
off birthday gifts, and people lifting
wheelchairs, and the trying strain of prayer
/ the clumsy standing and kneeling of the
congregation, squeaks of wood / someone’s mother
making dinner, the reuse of the strainer / unspool
instrument / unspool spool

/ I am too close to speech clusters too close
to clunking tools, heard frailties, falls / at the end of my measure,
at the directional end,
at the constellated unfelt orbiting night of there is no clock at all

orbiting light merely orbiting dream

/ to pray by merely moving, move with antelopes I’ve never seen,
their blessed whisk legs running


some questions about temporal government

what is not a clock in this house / is the eraser-less gnawed #2 pencil the tiny bent metallic bucket at the pencil tip a clock / is the beloved crawdad J. and M. caught sloshed home on a Saturday from Blue Lake a clock / is the metallic goldfish knickknack a gift from my past boss’s China trip 20 years back a clock / what chandelier is not the first chandelier I saw clocked in wonder / is the dumb wonder of the ornate system to a poor kid a clock / what 10 fingers are not a clock / I’m counting to ten with a toddler / is the toddler toddling a clock / what rotting tangerine is not a clock’s lung / what policy bucket / is a president’s term a clock / is empire / is a fake raindrop recorded on a cell phone app / is the forgotten child-game making strawberries talk a clock / is a jinx / is a skipped meal / is a stained sink / does the clock dance / is the pain of empires clocked / is the vertical chain of the cuckoo / is the vertical growth of wealth / is the rooftop / is the sinking rooftop / what is not a clock in the crawdad / what is not a translucent instrument of instruments / is J. coming home at 3 or 4 / who is picking whom up today / is the see-through pinkish skeletal fabric home / what is not expiring from its gear from its policy from its prayer from its body / is government for or of /does love destroy clocks / what is not a crawdad caught digging itself in and out of tiny rocks / what what what



hour-entry: Start the stopwatch. The animal was a chandelier, no the animal was a shovel written partly in response to a description of Frederick Winslow Taylor in: About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang, by Adam Frank, Copyright 2011. Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., p 322.

if I open up the clock: the 42% figure is from the Pew Research Center study, America's Complex Relationship with Guns, 2017.

Endi Hartigan is the author of two books of poetry, Pool [5 choruses] (2014, Omnidawn Publishing), and One Sun Storm (2008, Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University), as well as poems in journals and chapbooks — most recently appearing or forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, Bennington Review, and VOLT. Her most recent book was selected for the Omnidawn Open Prize and a recent interview on the book is available in Jacket2. Her first book was selected for the Colorado Prize for Poetry. She lives in Portland with her husband and son and has contributed to numerous collaborative projects with writers and artists in the Northwest.