You are a prisoner of time
and I am capable of killing flies
and I am waiting for the phone to ring
and you do not remember or you do not care.

No, you are a prisoner of mine
and you are incapable of killing a fly
without insecticide. Dishtowels
daze no one except the housewife
and I do not call you because you said to.

The cloud is moving too fast
from behind the hill, could it be smoke?
What factory is working at six this morning?
Correct me, it's twelve minutes after the hour
which you "tell" hour by hour, like the weather.

Kill that, if you can. Look at the smoke
behind the hill this morning, the workers
at dawn are as cold as my coffee
and everyone obeyed, everyone went to sleep
on time, and not one had a feeling
they had not had day after day the regime,

perception, the fly by the lightbulb, the dishtowel.
There are no workers, that is the morning
mist moving above the river behind the hill.

Words are prisoners of their sentences
and the poem cannot free them, disturbances
are interruptions, in the chain of reason
linking one word to the next, another regime
and perception, if it exists at all,
does not last,

lasting, the effort of the relation
among word, line, phrase, sentence, the combined
production of units reticulating time,
like a knock at the door, the thought
of the knock at the door when there is no appointment,
no designated hour to transact the exchange
of words, dialogue, conversation? Or do we say
only as much as we wish another to say
to us, and it is late and I must wait for the bus.

There is perception in departure,
the strict practice of multiple goodbyes
within a structure which permits
only the most predictable variations.

That grid of horizontal and vertical lines
mechanically reproduced into an infinity
of theoretical repetitions of monosyllables
binding perception (of time) into a wall of sound.

You see nothing when you watch the clock
except the production schedule, the wall of flies.

Time binds me to the structure which permits
the one who does not vary from the structure
to breathe, and the air is not mine for taking
like coffee, every day there is the coffee
and this is the variation, cycle, movement
around which—a pivot, the days revolve

and as you can see now at one minute before seven
the mist you mistook for smoke has settled down
and whether or not there is a river there
does it matter? Behind the hill cannot be seen
from the window in the white wood, the sill,
the gladiolas in the early morning light.

Soft for the Elizabethans stood for still,
stop, wait, without moving, almost hush, the mist
on the river this morning is scaffolding
and the buses are filling with numbers, forfeited.