Dick Allen

The Man Who Was Solved

Now understanding why a Time Machine
could not be invented, he
sat helplessly within a round
room of windows —
played one jukebox song
about a lovely morning when
the stars began to fall,
and quietly accepted all his life.

And drank the coffee, felt
such calmness it was almost like
his body was a fine transparency
of light-hued glass
high above some congregation worshipping
strange New England gods,
among them, Christ
who was rendered out of final things.

Each man and woman holds
a lifetime as
an artist grips his pencil—with
ease or loneliness or strength;
a different drawing or a different style
can only mean
time has shifted through
the variations of our countless lives,

he thought, and then
a girl in dungarees
followed by a boy with massive hair,
sat down with him; they asked
him all the criminal
questions of Americans in fear
and as he talked with them
he cried. Turning away, he cried.

Anon and Various Time Machine Poems





to everyone


Anon—his wanderings and explanations

  CANTO ZERO: Anon Is Invented 7
  CANTO ONE: Anon Makes Love at the Drive-in Movies  15
  CANTO TWO: Anon Visits the Home of Heroes      21
  CANTO THREE: Anon Climbs a Mountain     28
  CANTO FOUR: Anon Plans a Crime  36
  CANTO FIVE: Anon Kidnaps Miss America 44
  CANTO SIX: Anon Rids Himself of Miss America     53
  CANTO SEVEN: Anon Goes Camping  62
  CANTO EIGHT: Anon Finds the Big Rock Candy Mountains 69
  CANTO NINE: Anon Enters the Big Rock Candy Mountains 77
  CANTO TEN: Anon Stumbles upon the Road of Legends 87
  CANTO ONE: Anon Settles Down in the Town of Sanity 99
  CANTO TWO: Anon Visits the City of Strength 108
  CANTO THREE: Anon Meets Miss Spontaneity  115
  CANTO FOUR: Anon Delves into Inner Space   121
  CANTO FIVE: Anon Struggles with Blackness  128
  CANTO SIX: Anon Attends Survival University    134
  CANTO SEVEN: Anon Becomes a Guru     144
  CANTO EIGHT: Anon Explores Outer Space 151
  CANTO NINE: Anon Lives Through World War Three  163
  CANTO TEN: Anon Becomes the Last Man on Earth  171

NOTE: Anon should be pronounced with the accent on the first syllable:


various Time Machine Poems

  Alien Report #6 183
  Podunk, 1941 184
  A Tale of One Country 187
  At the Photocopy Machine 188
  A Rondo for My Friend  190
  At a Folk Sing, and Later    195
  To a Woman Half a World Away 196
  How It Was in Rhode Island 197
  Situation   199
  Poster Poem 200
  The Latest Event   202
  Prophecy  203
  The Man Who Was Solved  205

SOURCE: Allen, Dick. Anon and Various Time Machine Poems. New York: Delacorte Press, 1971. 206 pp. “The Man Who Was Solved,” pp. 205-206.


This is one of two books in the Library of Congress with the subject heading “Time Travel—Poetry.” Only one poem in this volume falls under that heading (see above).  The volume is divided into two sections.

The first is a tour of American civilization at the end of its rope at the end of the 1960s, as reported by the character “Anon”. Unless you count end-of-the-world scenarios, the only poem that could relate to a science fiction theme (or to the actual space race) is the eighth canto: “Anon Explores Outer Space” (pp. 151-162)

The only poem that relates to time travel, reproduced above, is the final poem of section two (and the book), “various Time Machine Poems”.

– RD, 26 June 2013

H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine: Selected Bibliography

Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau: El anacronópete — The First Time Machine

Edward Page Mitchell (1852-1927), Science Fiction Pioneer: Time Travel, Hegel, and More

Eugène Mouton: 19th Century Science Fiction Pioneer

Alfred Jarry’s “How to Construct a Time Machine”: A Web Guide

«Le maître du temps» par Giuseppe Lipparini

Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress

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Uploaded 26 June 2013

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