The Dandelion Clock

Daniel Tiffany is the author of five books of poetry and criticism, including Puppet Wardrobe and, most recently, Infidel Poetics. He teaches at University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


The Dandelion Clock
By Daniel Tiffany • 2010 • $15
Cover Art by Gaye Chan
Interior Design by Sumet (Ben) Viwatmanitsakul


Daniel Tiffany: “Each poem in The Dandelion Clock opens with a fragment of Middle English lyric, the syntax and spelling of the original retained for its textures and overtones–that is, for its sympathetic powers. Each sampling serves then as a kind of grace note for the poem it initiates, calling forth and harmonizing with other idioms and dialects, all combining for an instant to fabricate a voice with materials retrieved from a verbal underworld. In this sense, the poems of The Dandelion Clock may be described as pocket rhapsodies. It is worth noting that the poems from which I have drawn the Middle English fragments often survived only through citation in treatises condemning their vernacular origins.”

Tiffany’s book thus joins Lisa Linn Kanae’s Sista Tongue, Lee Tonouchi’s Contemplations on Pidgin Culture, and other Tinfish Press volumes in raising important issues of language use.

from The Dandelion Clock:

Where was hire drynk
The colde water of the–
     The colde water of the–
Wanna go to heaven
A little thing like that
Don’t cost nothing

also from The Dandelion Clock:

Allone allone allone allone
Nis non so fresshe
Someone keeps on calling
Make me down a pallet
Make it near your door
No one I swear no one will know


Read more about Tiffany’s work at Colorado State University’s Center for Literary Publishing.