The Man Who Could Smell Time

The man who could smell time
reported a scent resembling

licorice, or anise
and that the aroma was identical

regardless of the apparent motion
of the recipient of the olfactory impulse:

no change occurred in the odor’s or nose
when present transmuted to past

or future to now —
in other words, no Doppler shift.

This observation indicates,
the man insisted, time functions

neither as wave nor particle, but rather
as a constant, part of an equation

definitive to our universe:
relentlessly travelling


Tom Wayman’s recent poetry titles include Built to Take it: Selected Poems 1996-2013 from Spokane’s Lynx House Press and The Order in Which We Do Things: The Poetry of Tom Wayman, selected and with an introduction by Owen Percy, from Wilfrid Laurier University Press, both published in 2014. A long poem of his won the 2015 Gwendolyn MacEwen/Exile poetry competition. Thistledown Press will publish a new collection of his poems, Helpless Angels, in 2017.

His most recent fiction title, The Shadows We Mistake for Love (Douglas & McIntyre, 2015), in June won the 2016 Diamond Foundation Prize for fiction (Western Canada Jewish Book Awards). For more information:

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

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