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Midnight in the City of Clocks

Tobias Hill

Cover Picture of Midnight in the City of Clocks
Imprint: OxfordPoets
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Contents
  • New Verses for Clock City Magpies

    Eight for black, nine for white.
    Ten for a step and its echo at night.
    Eleven for credit, twelve for cash.
    Thirteen for pickpockets milling the crush.

    Fourteen for blackmail, fifteen for tax.
    Sixteen for passion in cul-de-sacs.
    Seventeen steps from the porch to the car.
    Eighteen for life, with good behaviour.

    Nineteen pounds ninety-nine pence-ful of lager.
    Twenty plus tips for a blow and a popper.
    Twenty-one faces pressed flat to the window.
    Twenty-two magpies half-lost in shadow.

    One for white, two for black.
    Three chances left to guess why they attack.

    This lively second collection from a young, much-travelled writer falls into two parts. 'Transit' includes poems of travel and transport, especially Japan, where Tobias Hill lived for two years. 'Back to the City' is about London, from hangover to Underground; Hiroshima; and the 'City of Clocks', a fusion of cities and ages.
    They are poems crammed with a young man's curiosity and eye for detail, and show his great ability for storytelling.
    Table of Contents


    The City of Clocks


    Prisons in a Departure Lounge at Midnight

    One Day in Hiroshima

    from A YEAR IN JAPAN





    Playing Japanese Chess with the Elder Mrs Uchida

    Sumo Wrestler in Sushi Bar

    Earthquake, Osaka

    Green Tea Cooling

    The Barber's Daughter


    The Secret of Burning Diamonds

    Rio in Carnival


    Three Wishes in a Small Town

    The Mule and the Rain

    How to Light Dynamite

    Flora and the Admiral


    London Pastoral

    New Verses for Clock City Magpies

    North-West London

    Love Song

    Broken Bone

    Playground at 2 am

    Sheep's Clothing


    The Woman who talks to Ezra Pound in Tesco

    Life Savings

    Today the House is Full of Dishcloths

    Reasons Why


    July 14th, 10 pm

    The Beekeepers

    Midnight in the City of Clocks

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