All the new inexperienced clocks,
all the round-faced watches
still telling analogous moments–
the ones in the display case
awaiting the jeweler’s hand
to come out and be seen for sale–
all the photos, even, of timekeep,
Sunday paper ads, rolex to timex
are set at ten past ten.
On rare occasions you might
see one of these stopped watches
at four o’clock or maybe five past nine.
But hardly ever. The young clerk
whose job it is to keep the shop
well tuned, knows only ten past ten.
That is the rule. Those other
settings, though the same, would need
a knowledge of the reason underneath.
The reason is an old belief
that certain geometric ratios
please our eyes, speak Beauty
in and of themselves; they tempt
a complement in us, and make us
follow, listen, buy. We love
a golden section, so we set the watches
ten past ten. Thus we obey
though we do not know why.