3:15 2001

There are two peculiarities I'd like to note about this year's August writings. Over the course of the month, a particular fact became salient: my alarm clock, a Baby Ben purchased at a flea market some ten years ago, was not working. It was ticking, and telling time (running a little fast as always, a bonus for the perennially tardy), but the alarm wasn't ringing when I told it to. And on September 2, the day after I stopped writing at 3:15 or whenever my internal clock's anxiety would rise to the waking point, the clock's mechanism stopped altogether. So my timing was off this year, though regardless of the specific hour the bulk of the writing was done in the half-mindfulness of half-sleep, for which I'm glad. My days, however, are off as well: you'll notice that the writing runs from 2 August to 1 September. August 1st rolled around before I'd had a chance to buy a notebook especially for this project, so for that first poem I used a page out of my regular journal, thinking I'd later paste that page into the 3:15 notebook I bought on August 1st at an old-fashioned stationer's in Berkeley. It wasn't until August 28 that I ripped the page out of my journal and set it on my desk, only to have it disappear promptly and utterly. Hence the August 29 line "to find a lost piece of paper." And hence the added day, though I'm well aware that addition doesn't equal retrieval, and replacement in poetry is an impossibility.

Jen Hofer can be reached at jenho@mindspring.com.