Todd and the Time Machine Part 2



Part 1 can be found here.

Todd and the Time Machine Part 2

Todd’s basement materialises
he sees the dark wood veneer panelling,
that tartan colonial sofa his uncle gave him,
the dark patch where his uncle rested his head
still glistening from the oil slick of his uncle’s hair,
in the corner, his wife is playing with an electrical cord.
“Don’t pull the cord, I’m not fully back yet!” Todd screams.

His wife’s voice comes back
a little garbled by the time lag
“I hope you’re going to clean up that damn dust this time”.

Todd returns to the present,
presents himself and sneezes into his sleeve
leaving a black smear on his plaid Mark’s Work Warehouse shirt.
Unknown ramifications
unforeseen outcomes,
that 21st century air
trapped in the time capsule
drops to a lower carbon dioxide concentration
as the capsule travels back in time
the surplus carbon dioxide
reverts to the original carbon
forming a black dust
which coats the inside of the capsule;
thing is, it’s a one way process
no one knows why

“You look like shit”, his wife says
“You look time-wasted, you look timed out,
what happened to your hair?”

Unknown ramifications
unforeseen outcomes
time travel messes with your hair
alters your DNA
deletes your vaccinations
the dangers of rushing a technology to market
too soon.

Todd’s wife grins
“I wasn’t really going to pull the cord”,
she hugs him, grinding slowly
“What did you bring back for me, this time?”


Taking part in open link over at earthweal, the poem was inspired by earthweal’s prompt “A Clockwork Green”. 

Check out earthweal, a lot of good poetry and Brendan’s no-holds-barred editorials manage to be informative and entertaining at the same time.

12 thoughts on “Todd and the Time Machine Part 2

  1. hedgewitch

    Quite frightening in its whimsical way. The mastery of time eludes us still, except in imagination, where as here, you have made it seem perfectly real, even mundane. I love the all the little details that make this both believable and striking, from the oil slicked hair, to the importuning wife, but I especially like this section: “…“You look time-wasted, you look timed out,/what happened to your hair?”/Unknown ramifications/unforeseen outcomes…” Yeah that’s us, mucking along ignoring all the ugliness for the sake of a dollar bill, a new shiny, here in the consumer-infested swamp. Enjoyed this one a lot, and it shows off a lot of skills in the shaping of it. I like a serious poem that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sdtp33 Post author

      Thank you for your detailed and perceptive reading of the poem……I can only get interested in writing a poem if I can find a humorous angle ! Sometimes it works!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hypercryptical

    I just love this so much (and Part 1) and echo H’s thoughts exactly.
    I really enjoyed reading it and have a happy smile on my face.
    Anna :o]


  3. Sherry Marr

    Jim, I especially love the Canadian touches, like the plaid Mark’s Workwear shirt. I can SEE the panelling and the colonial sofa with its greasy patch. Love the conversation, so wifely. Smiles.


  4. earthweal

    Hope Todd didn’t bring back a fly! Loved the zoom into the tale — in media res, mid-return-flight, abrupting narrative for a naked fuck with Father Time. Going back with tech that’s racing forward: it “alters your DNA / deletes your vaccinations” and all of it a product “of rushing a technology to market too soon.” Ruffs up the ‘do, too. And the dust, such griminess in engraining our time with Holocene vistas. Smart and cocky. Loved the marital pair in the middle of it, and I wonder how the dust will figure in #3. – Brendan



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