The Clock-time Regime

The unceasing extraction of profit

from any possible corner of life

so clearly does not align

with the way the universe works.

Even from the perspective

of someone guided

by a mechanistic,

solely rational

view of the world

it shouldn’t make much sense.

There is only so much

we can take

without reciprocation

before everything is gone.


Most if not all

of the physical planetary frontiers

have been colonized and exploited.

As the nonphysical “resources”

are being rapidly devoured

in their place,

they’ve now set their sights

on Mars.

“Time’s running out,”

they say.

They’re trying to take

that from us too.


But I was recently out in the desert

living by the rhythm of the sun—

wake at first light,

sleep when it gets dark.

In the absence of mechanical time

and the anxiety and stress

it engenders,

I was keenly aware

of the impact

of clock-time

on my body.


Without the clock’s ticking

tensions melted away.

The rhythm

of my breathing

changed.

Geologic velocities

and plant-life tempos

informed my daily flow,

but as the time to return

to clock-time world approached

I found myself

already within its grasp

preemptively tensing up

and already marching

to its vitality diminishing

and always insistent ticks

and never-ceasing tocks.

Living once again

under the clock-time regime,

my entire being

is in a state of rebellion.

What can I do

to escape

its terrible grip?


As we grapple with

and pin down

our hoped for futures,

each crushing us in its

perspectival vise,

can we not afford

to let go

of the notion

that we are running out

of time?

Are our changing perspectives

not worthy

of discounting

our childish compulsion

to act quickly

and decisively?

And in the face

of the existential horror

of global ecological catastrophe

and the very real possibility

of civilizational collapse

can we not

ease up

on the accelerator

and humbly rest

in not-knowing?