THE RIBBON AROUND THE STEMS

There would be that space to write where the chairs are two and painted soft green the gladiolas between orange and yellow the sill, the place at the window, white and the window behind them opening out to the terrace and then the street where the bus arrives and patiently waiting are those standing at the stop.

Coffee and apple juice, bread and cheese. Sunlight. Have you noticed how warm this morning, late morning. Walking, warmth. This day has that in common with other days, sunlight and coffee and words warmly written. They are entered. With doubt, but they are entered. They enter time. They empty time.

No thoughts have followed me here of that I am aware. No book has been left open beside the gladiolas. The sill. The book, if one were there, would lie open on the sill. Does a book rest between readings? A book lies, in English, whether it is open or closed. Why closed and not shut? Perhaps I did not wish to remember the line, "Come, shut your book. It's time for lunch."

That time. A day like today can only be located among the words entered into that day, the time of day. Morning, afternoon, evening. The dead hours before dawn. Waking today at dawn, the thought itself was light, turned towards the light like a flower. The sharpened sense of the light is what it lets you see, and what you see you can say only in your own language, street stop bus.

The fixed hour rests on the clock on the wall. If the clock stopped, there would still be time. There would still be the same time whether or not you knew the time. Vremya? they asked at the stop yesterday, curious as to whether or not you could understand. My watch has stopped working, which is a lie.

The watch was left on the window sill, lying still. The hands on the clock rotate, they do not move. To move is to advance on a direction, no fixed direction, heading towards or away the point of departure. The plane on which the horizon advances. The dimensions empty out until there is only space. Finally there is only the space waiting to be filled with objects or words for them, and if I write "gladiola" you cannot see them.

If you could see them, would you know them? The poem returns to what it can and cannot know. It cannot know time without the simulation that it understands. Neither can the person writing it enter it as one person. That is a fiction, that one person. Or for as long as that one person writes, the poem cannot know what it is writing. Can it know itself any more than the one writing it?

What can it know. Shorten the question to the problem of what can be known. The formula for the expression prevents the perception. But when I am reading I am not in this world, not even the one where the gladiolas rest in the jar in the center of the sill.

What do you ask of your reader? That they return to me again and again, no matter how long they are gone. How far away are you from your reader? They do not read me until they begin to write. So no one who does not write can read you? What do you read for if not to write?

I read a book to give life to it, and that is where the thought starts. The book does not end, nor does the thought of it ever stop. Have you thought of that? To be thought of, that is what is writing, and it does not stop. The life writes itself this way, even by simply writing to itself, across the person one becomes for this reason or that, motivated by another, opening, into bloom.