Usage du temps

Follain’s concern is finally with the mystery of the present.
–W. S. Merwin

The aging transport ship
floats motionless
as the Newtonian surface of what
they still sometimes call outer space
dissolves around it.
The smallest of shudders
passes through the hull
& into the sleeping bodies
of the convicts,
the constellations change
in the monitor at the far end
of the almost-deserted lounge
where the chief engineer,
himself a convict, is reading
in an almost inaudible whisper
from Jean Follain’s
Transparence of the World.

Amazon link. See review here. “Usage du temps” is the title of the 1943 collection which included the original “Transparence du monde.”

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Dave….you touched my hot buttons with this one… really painted a great miniature here….and now I have another book to read this summer!


  2. now I have another book to read this summer!
    That’s the reaction I was hoping for. Thanks, Fred.


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