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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