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Paul Hlava

Pendulum, Balance Wheel, Escape

Because I live in a clocktower
time moves in reverse.
When I eat I am hungry,
when I wake, the golden weight
dances at the end of its chain.
Gears twist like the reptilian
claws of an osprey
planting fish in the sea.
The bells ring twice, once
in the distance and once inside.
The moon is rising just so.
I’m the steady center
of a spinning world.
Every triumph I will achieve is memory.
My daughters walked out on me
before they were born.
Undeveloped photos hang on the wall.
The apples have been moved
to another room.


Paul Hlava is a poet, artist, and teacher, and was named a Best New Poet 2012. His poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Agriculture Reader, and Rattle, among other journals, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He holds an MFA from New York University.


See the full list of 2013 Emerging Poets Fellows