Gabriel Gudding, Three Poems

"Praise to the Swiss Federation"

Praise I guess to Theophilus Carter, furniture maker of Oxford,
that he constructed an alarm clock bed that wd throw its
occupant to the floor

Praise be Levi Hutchins, Concord, New Hampshire, that he
invented the first mechanical alarm clock, 1787, cracking
therewith the egg of morning

Praise be John Muir, a man full of natural lovingkindness, that
he as a boy in the frontier of rural Wisconsin, whose father an
extremist Scotsman would beat him daily, that he at 14 devised
a clock of wood that would of its own accord light a fire in the
barn at 4am so that he wd not have to rise and go to a cold
building full of chickens

Praise be the first water resistant wristwatch, used by a woman
swimming the English Channel, 1927, a Rolex, her name
Mercedes Gleitze, member of the English nation, October 7

Praise the difficult jobs of tower clocks, where the wind
catching the hands will put pressures on the going train
disturbing thereby the rate

Praise be the wrist watch, small heliotropic machine, that it do
nothing but be designed to approximate the location of a star
traveling through our part of the Kosmos

Praise be the wrist watch, a small celestial theater, that it is
essentially designed to indicate the location in the sky of a
large source of light that we call the sun and to mimic the
frequency of the sun’s vibration (one pulse a day) by the
swinging of the watch’s three hands by vibrating, in some
cases, 28 thousand beats per hour

Praise be therefore the sun. We witness its life in a stream of
production. The insects throwing fits in the lotions. The dense
satellites clanging in the firmament. The pitchforks
disappearing. A quietness thick in the people. The night closing
candle by candle, the day sliding bulb to bulb into pitch, the
bells disused, the fizzling stars, the colored and chronometric
planets, these like beaten disks of dust, fallen salt grains
founded on the invert sky, and of the numberless hearts in their
cages, each an enormous mulberry, ripening in chest pots, our
billions of vibrating fingers, the hairy toes of all the good
animals, the serious fuzzy spiders: praise these all in the
intricacy of living that each of us shares, and that watches
approximate, for watches are a kind of simple mind, also praise
this sorrowing world, its aching mix of genitals, its tangled
mulcting of gemmy hammers, its fluffy anchors, that we
essentially live inside, all of us, a giant watch, that we will die
and continue and die and continue as sure as this Seiko will,
because it is designed by some very no-nonsense Japanese

Praise to the 41 rivers of Switzerland, drained in the four
directions, the North Sea via the Rhine, the Mediterranean via
the Rhône, the Adriatic through the Po and Adige, and the
Black Sea by the banks of the Danube, that by these waters
were the first lathes of the watchmaking Swiss turned

Praise be the fake Rolex

Praise to the production of the screw, a fastener with a helical

ridge, for tho a wooden screw were used in 100 BC wine press

and oil press, the metal screw were not devised til roughly

1550, incredibly late, which innovation aids the watchmakers

tremendously, and strange no one thought of it prior, especially

when one considers that the stairwell, being an inclined plane

that is coiled, is essentially a large screw, the stairwell being

invented, I think, a very long time ago. What is the history of

the stairwell

Praise that Gemma Frisius, Danish astronomer, forwarded,
1530, a solution to the problem of longitude at sea by
suggesting that a clock be taken into a sea while set to the time
of the home port, and that in a sense then the clock itself would
bear its own cargo: the substantial yet weightless cargo of the
time at home, for in this way it would bear the knowledge of
the angle of the sun at the home port, which can be compared
to the angle of the sun at a ship’s current position using an
onboard sextant or octant or quadrant, and in this way become
the key to determining the longitudinal position of a ship on the

Praise also that the word clock comes from the French cloche
meaning bell, the German glock and the Saxon klugga, what
happened there

Also praise that we now see the wrist as an obvious place to
mount a time piece on the body. But in 1598 Galileo invented a
brass helmet he called a “celatone,” essentially a large clock, a
masklike bucket into which a person would insert his head to
the chin, apportioned with various holes, for the purpose of
telling the time by enabling the wearer easily to align his sight,
via built-in transept, plumb line and telescope, to view the
cycling of what Galileo called the “jovian clock,” which was a
“natural clock” that hung in the sky near Jupiter and is
constituted by the movement of the four then visible moons of
Jupiter, thus telling by their position the time of day and the
longitude. Which means that the first body-mounted clock was
a helmet

Oh and also praise the watchmaker who invented a sprung-
detent tourbillon, as well the constant-force tourbillon, as well
the astronomically planetary watch, the sympathique clock-
watch combination, the self-winding perpetual-calendar
pocket-watch, the fusée-detent escapement and the constant-
force remontoir. Praise the watch for showing the retrograde
date, the moon-phase and the equation of time, and praise as
well the karrusel movement, which answered the same problem
as the tourbillon, simpler to produce, longer lasting, and more
accurate, it made by a German and not a Swiss, and therefore is
to this day not much made, as people will pay for the tourbillon
bc of its gratuitous complexity and Swiss heritage, ridiculous

Praise I guess to the Swiss Federation, small multilingual
country, lacustrine, landlocked alpine, home of the Alpen,
Hummurabic, that Hannibal’s elephants shook there, poor
them, and how did they get to the Alps, I looked it up,
Hannibal Barca’s 37 elephants marched with him from Spain
across the Rhone, crossing the Alps in 16 days needing 3 days
afterward to recover from fatigue, also strange the glacial
banks of Switzerland pour their wealth into time measure, such
that by 1964 Switzerland was producing 64 million watches
annually, crazy, and that women were hired by Switzerland as
labor in watchmaking first by thousands circa 1800 causing the
demise of British watch manufacture prominence, the latter
country adopting female labor in the 1850s on the insistence of
a Sir John Bennett as a way for competing with Swiss makers
and in 1964 the "Bulova Accutron" is buried beneath the
grounds of the New York World Fair, Queens, ostensibly for
5000 years, in order to save it for future generations as an
example of one of the 44 most innovative objects to be
invented during the preceding quarter century, as if anyone will
care 4958 years from now, as if anyone cared then, whereas it
was really buried because it was a casket of death, we should
not love objects overmuch

93,000 wristwatches were sold in Germany in 1902, not good,
as this influx of timepieces may have caused the widespread
demise of telepathic communication among the German people
that led to what we now call Nazism, for I assert that thinking
about the wristwatch in the wrong way can in fact debilitate the
mind’s ability to receive and transmit telepathic signals, thus
damaging the ethical fabric of a society

Praise be the nature of truth that when the wristwatch is treated
merely as a device for the entraining of obedience, as a device
that will merely help assure that a body is placed in a pre-
arranged area for the purposes of industry, that this marks the
death of the watch as a machine that is descended of astrolabes,
orreries, sextants and telescopes, because frankly the
wristwatch is a little sky machine and is in essence a celestial
analog, and that treating a watch merely as a tool of the
appointment book vitiates the natural low-level trans-mental
and trans-emotional telepathy that binds people together

Do not praise however Descartes who sd that similarities in the
external actions of animals and humans do not prove “A
resemblance btw corresponding interior actions” and that what
animals “do that is better than what we do [like running or
smelling] does not prove that they have a mind….as one sees
that a clock, which is made up of only wheels and springs, can
count the hours better than we can,” for Descartes did not see
that the clock was devised by us and is a sign of a tender care
in minds, and in a letter to Henry More the English philosopher
and poet Descartes argued the absence of minds in animals
saying that to grant a mind to some wd entail the giving of it
unto sponges and to the oysters, saying, too, “Doubtless when
the swallows come in spring, they operate like clocks,”
whereas I am happy to give the oyster a mind. And I argue that
the failure to give the oyster a mind is a sign of an
impoverishment of heart

Praise be therefore the wristwatch which is a kind of teat or
buttock, and I'm sorry for that kind of language but it's a
suitable metaphor, in that a watch is composed of subtle hidden
mechanisms that perform a most essential function by at once
parceling energy and releasing it in small units, such that that
each tick is a kind of sonic dung, or such that each tick is a
parcel of milk, depending upon whether time’s passing is well
used or ill


Oh and also praise the 4th chronometer of John Harrison which
in 1761 erred no more than 15 seconds in a 5 month journey to
the West Indies and back

Praise to the British horological revolution of 1660-1770

Praise to John Harrison, he that built the first sea clock, a clock
to be
taken onto the seas for the determination of a ship's longitude,
w/out losing even a second a week, incredible, despite buffet
by wave, storm, the seamen themselves and sometimes, which
did                                                                                      happen,
a fish from the window

And even tho the Industrial Revolution was precipitated
by the British horological revolution,
praise to the British horological revolution

Praise to the escapement, a device which through repetitive
mechanical motion regulates the running down of the motive
Praise to the history of clocks which is to a large extent a
history of the improvement of the technologies of escapement

Praise to the clock which is not a metaphor for the enslavement o
f peoples, the enslavement of labor, the abuse of human
power, the call of the factory, nor the bell that tolls as death

Praise to Ikuo Tokunaga-san designer of the Seiko divers 1974-
present who sd “And if your 1000m diver’s watch will be
damaged unfortunately in any case, please contact to the Seiko
Service Center of your country as soon as possible. And last of
all, I would like to say again The watches are living machines
and they wanted to be cared from their lovely owner with
heart-full mind every day. Please love your professional 1000m
diver’s watch for ever. Thanks again. Sincerely yours, Ikuo

Praise to Richard Leigh, 1695, who wrote of insects, “Like
Living Watches, each of these conceals/ A thousand Springs of
Life, and moving wheels…”

Praise to those in Norway, who are generally Norwegians, that
they wear clocks. That they have rain there. That things are
busy there. That they are busy with Norway. That there are old,
shining fountain pens there. That all these things are Norway,
of Norway, and make Norway. Praise to the weakened insects
of Norway, who are happy, being fond of snow, which burdens them

Praise that wristwatches, like nickels on the sea, are children of
the colossal. That they burden no person, mar no time, and are
made of the sound of the baskets. That Sunlight in Norway is
of strained apricot. That this on my wrist is a celestial theater.
That a wristwatch is a small celestial theater. It is a small sky.
A heliotropic machine. A device for the measure of shadows

Praise be again Ikuo Tokunaga-san designer of the Seiko divers
1974-present who sd “All watches are the noble-minded living
machines for which human beings have created as the
mechanical watches and as quartz watches. In those creatures,
there are ‘the culture of the time’ which tells human beings'
history, ‘the law of the time’ which keeps social order,
‘mankind's philosophy’ which tells their feelings, ‘the drama of
sports’ with sweat and tears, and also ‘the art of the time’
which charms people's mind deeply by the ultimate
mechanism. Both mechanical watches and quartz watches have
their individuality, and both are alive with you with respectful
character in this world. Although determined by the style of
your life, and TPO, since my selection basis of watches is
summarized in the next table, please make it reference which to
be chosen.”

Praise the Seiko wristwatch more rich and glorious than wood

Praise be the minute hand which tho the watches were around
since the early 16th century as a personal vademecum, and the
wristwatch not arising til 1868, the minute hand did not swing
on                  a                 watch                   until                1660
Praise to the Northern Hemisphere which gave the watch
Praise to Randall Benson who sd “A watch does not respond to
force, they are too small to compete with it.”

Praise be Wm Hogarth an artist who cd paint a portrait in one
hour and depicted consistently time pieces, then new, in his
renderings, as with the rise of the waistcoat in 1675 men ceased
to wear watches by chains on the neck and placed them in
pockets, whereas women continued to wear them on chains, in
fact it was the discomfort afforded by the weight of the watch
suspended on the neck that caused Charles II to devise an
expedient sling composed by a light garment for the torso, a
vest,” upon which small internal purses of cloth, which we
call pockets, could be hung. Tompion who in his life made
6,000 watches and 500 clocks, was the occasion of much
thievery: The personal advertisements of London papers
frequently mentioned rewards for stolen Tompion watches

Praise be Daniel Defoe, born in the horological revolution, who
depicts one Moll Flanders who stole gold watch after gold
watch. The best watches now are made of stainless steel, and
sometimes Titanium

Praise be all those who resisted Descartes who in 1619 reports
wishing to construct a mechanical flying pigeon, a dancing
dog, and a spaniel chasing a pheasant

Praise be the watch, it is not merely the amphitheater of all
those who are awaiting the outcome of our present, it is in fact
an aid to orient sentient beings within the amphitheater of the
present moment

Praise be the many bugs, more complex than watches. That
they have an energy that has left us. They have the energy of
children. That they are the favorites of the sun and are but the
particles of people with the wills of children. That insects are
my little cousins under the uncle of heaven. And I am happy of

Praise that the wristwatch is essentially an astronomical
instrument, which fact we among the houses forget. That what
is a watch used for, it is used for the mimicking of the turning
of the sky as the turning of its hands remembers the turning of
the sky, the rolling of the earth before and under the sun

which is a large object filled with sunlight

"The Annals of Tacitus"

There  was enough  of me,  everyone  said, and I should leave.   But I could  not
leave, and I said so, I could not leave.    But they said I should leave and I could
not leave and I said I could not.      They insisted I leave. I explained I could not.
Leave,    they said. No, I said.     Goddamnit no, I said.              Leave you simple
Mudderclipper!, they said.   No I said.   No I said. Look I said.     Goddamnit they
said.       Goddamnit    I said.      We   stood   there  saying  no  and    goddamnit.

So I left.

In   thev  consequent   explosion   were several leaves,    some last coins,    the
components   of   a  chicken, some blue in the form of paint that had been torn
from a plow at the beginning of the explosion, a plow,    the farmer’s boot and
feet, the pulped  hooves of his ox,   the completely “intimidated” sound   waves
of the ox that had been lowing.

So I left.   And the hound  and the men  with drinks welcomed me among  them
who   were   especially   pleased   with   the   comfort  given   by   the   hound’s
considerate mitigation of its own annoyances.

I told them in the coming  prohibitions we will go behind bushes and  stow  our
bottles in the warm grottos of our animals’ buttocks.   We will insert  our   beer
bottles in our dogs and work our wine well into the cows.     Cats will  take  the
tiny airplane bottles of liquor.   Yes, we will put bottles in the  buttocks  of  our

[Silence. A pause. ]

So I said to  them again,   “I have funded the flight of weird owls.    And still the
chickens creak under their melancholia.”   They told me get the eff out. We are
Germans, they said, und du bist ein widerlich Geier.

I said that they  would eat the ant’s venison,  a beef of the dragonfly, a paté of
tawny moths. You’ll do all this. What’s more, that chancre  looks  like  someone
clipped  a  pepper  to  your  lip.    The  world  is but a quilt of inadequacy.    You
sicker effer??!, they said.

I said I saw a bull in a lily.  It was a big lily,   a small bull.     Leave they said you
are an abuser of corn.

And peacocks are steeds for eyes,   I tried.   That a toothfairy convention would
be loud because of the tickling.

So I said: Indeed,   consider  the  booming  made from a  fox’s  butt  when  it  is
placed beneath a tractor.

Go, they said.

No, I said. Go you simple Mudderclipper, they said.

Oh, I see, I see, Fine. I see. I get it.   Fine.   Very very fine.   You would make me
to  walk  out  into  the  field  on  my  horse   whose bones are,   though  not   as
delicate as eyelashes, weak?

Yes they said. Yes finally, they said.

[“Then a  victim  due for  sacrifice  (when the construction  of  the  winter camp
was  complete)    escaped    outside  the  rampart  before  the  work  was  done.
Moreover, some soldiers’  javelins  caught  fire    –    a   particularly   significant
portent since the Parthenian enemy.”]

"To the Sun at Anchor"

After Ossian

Professor I first thought of the employment of waters
          from the kayak in Anchor Illinois, engraver of
          lake tops, as I am far from my little daughter,
          Clio, of ten years, who lives in a city

beyond Pennsylvania. In an old house. On Belmont.
          She lives near you, in Providence. By sea.
          Narragansett bay

          near the Grand Banks, Georges Banks, with
          her few fish, Newfoundland fishery, near the
          Cod, overfished, the squaretailed Cod, mighty,
          the Haddock she lives near, not the Redfish,
          near Block Island. Provincetown

near Cape Cod, the Haddock there, far away, she lives

          far away, far away

      1  What do you know about a little girl, trans-

          historical dandelion

      2  World woodchuck. Woodchuck to the world,

          bladder of halos. Bubble of heat. Blubber of
          light. I arose my mother arose my daughter
          arose, the lily arose, the river arose, the tulip
          arose, old ankles arose, Warren Williams
          arose and there were theaters in the toys, --
          because of you, you hang, an indigenous
          dandelion of dust. Lucretius says that you are
          the size that you appear to be. Which still begs
          the question -- of what size

      3  you appear to be.

      4  Do I perceive you as big

          because I was told you were big? What
          the hell

      5   You fitted these bodies with vents, you

          mantled us in sphincters, swathed us with
          blisters, pasted us to chancres, you strung us
          with nerves, what the hell

That you tear

and fold the gingham of fogs. That you come
through the Canada of space. That you signal green
from the crush of destruction. That you blow a tangle
          of crumpled shade from a copse of oak. That
          you anchor
such dejection to me,
          thank you. That

those eating millet seed, Those eating potato chip,
          Those unscrewing hooves, Those discussing a
          goose, Those who know Jim Behrle, Those
          eating the leg muscles of rabbits, Those eating
          a firebug, Those in the house of sorrow, Those
          in the ringing valley, Those using a haircomb,
          Those who hit their dogs, Those farting in
          front of children, Those eating kale, Those
          smelling of lake water, Those delighting in
          mildness, Those delighting in goodness, Those
          cutting the little creatures, Those liking the
          cheese, Those liking the corn, Those liking the
          other yellow foods, Those crushing a boy’s
          kite, Those who walk on the air, Those who
          lost it, Those who puked on a plaque, Those
          who rode a host of creatures, Those who sleep
          with women at night, Those who lie with
          dwarves, Those who lust for horses, Those
          who collect excrement and sell it, Those who
          collect excrement, Those that are busiest at
          dawn, Those beset by pains, Those who camp
          with joy

cannot but be a companion of you! These oak trees
          cannot decline you

That you are here above the mommy world, in this
          parliament of Natashas, this clattering of

That the big heads of the hags are not as big as yr big
          head! I see you there, “the sun,” bigger than
          the big head of the hag! I see you bigger than
          the big heads of ALL the big heads of the
          hags! You are big

I climb your light. I like you I feel personal toward
          you. I revere yr clambering ass. Yr vast
          vanilla climbing, yr fat prickles falling, yr
          raining of crumbling yellows, yr immense
          lightball cuticle, beach of light, sea-ball, you!:
          buttocks of the air!, you shag the trees

flaming rippling pudding

blonde sun, pulsing rice grain, fulgent rice boulder,
          basically spewing bright wedding rice into the
          boards of the world, thank you for hinging the
          moments together

the clouds, those great condiments of foam, roam the
          sky basically like weird puffy pilgrims,
          pilgrim-condiments foaming the upper
          balconies of the earth, blowing without their
          buckle hats, like they are the steaming interior
          of bubbles seeking their spherical houses, yes
          the cloud, sun, these odd amorphous kites,
          happen because of you, thanks

we are down here under you, a bunch of meat. We are
          basically a great family of meat made by you,
          hung here by you, made fuzzy by you—WE
          ARE REAL—there could be nothing. Thank

6       sun, thank you for coffee    sun, thank you for
         Vincent    sun, thank you for Clio 

sun, thank you for television   sun that you made the
         curious mosquito—that you made the really
         loud cicada—that you made all this an Iliad—
         thank you

we did not watch a gopher
we did watch a gopher
we did not watch a gopher
we did watch a gopher
a gopher, what is it?

not something that really listens to music
not something that really wears clothes
not something who tends the grass altho it appreciates
         the tending of grass
akin to a woodchuck, akin to a stoat, akin to a mink,
         akin to a squirrel

this is gopher

sun thank you for gopher
thank you for visibility
with which I can see gopher
and remember daughter

7        When will you brother with me in seeing the
          death of my parents. You sling the terrible
          comet, you sift the quiet space junk; the stars
          ride in yr oven; the moon, a cabbage head,
          will turn to a scorched cob, there are exits in
          the hallways of the west, but you move still
          like an avenging baby, crawling you have
          escaped and come in a baby’s fury, you cannot
          come down from there, you cannot but go
          forward into the land of the offenders, you are
          stuck in that ecliptic track much as a baby is
          jammed behind a fence or a living room or
          those small partitions grandparents use: You,
          the full of the globe behind you; the flood in
          its sheening, the coins of light flipping on the
          shallows, the sand of the gray beach, the
          bowels of the auroral bears, the distant
          telescopes swinging toward all this clattering
          foam, these lines of brown, this darkening
          interior in our elbows: it is near you! All of
          this, each of us things, a companion to the
          flow, the awks are tremendous! You, the sun
          of the obstetrical system. We thank you, even
          though compared to you we are essentially

O Sun how did Justice come to be allied with anger,
          ill humor, and quarreling?

For welcoming road and field of corn cobbled by
          wind and rain, thanks
For world with storm, for bowls of sherbet thanks
For Africa burst from a pea
For boys who drink Darjeeling, for the globetrotting
who take their awful shrinking bodies onto the
          oceans, thanks
For the sea, that big Russian melodrama, that beaten
          vault of fishes, that battered waterquilt of
          horse muscle, thank you

          That you electrify the doily of the genome
          and filter life through the moms, thanks

That you spangled the distant black with eyes
That you rode the dayhips, that you
          in the days of new boobies looked at Jane’s
          lips with me of long ago
          and saddened up the shining hair of little boys

Because I am a great bee and want to escape. I see
          now windy pines. I see now a complete bath. I
          keep flying. I am a bee. I am among your pigs.
          Now I pass a school, its bell chiming, the
          children issuing. Now there are gray things. It
          is a field, it is autumn. There is garbage. I am
          above a spider. I am above a young girl
          chalking on the sidewalk

Why did you, the clear jar of firejelly, lather the
          poles, carve the sparks, slather the backs of all
          these oaks. And salve the black with a batter
          of light

8       Is this the world where my body lives? This

So I guess for you the teats darken, they rise they
         leak, the hearts warm to harden

That you made the honey in the vulva’s lips, that you
          crafted the piss of fathers, that you do this
          constant change: the gray days, the bright one,
          the full river, a withered shoulder

          That you made all this groin leather,
          apportioning it to chickens,
to the stupid and clear, to the children, that all may
          rub and bang, that all may sorrow the more

What for, sun?
What for you do this?

I like your clouds. Thanks.