Now the last touch: your new toy, ‘Infraworlds —
For the Gentle Enhancement of Personal Space’,
a series of ambient soundtracks designed
to be superimposed over absolute silence,
since virtually nothing is on them.
You have Scottish Renaissance, Cafe Voltaire
and Library, though, as usual, you plump for
Buenos Aires, Early Evening, 1897,
firk out the cassette from its soft pastel cover
and jiggle it into your Walkman.
At first, there seems to be nothing but tape-hiss
though it seeps imperceptibly into the white rush
of steam from a kettle of matè;
through the half-opened casement, a spatter of horse-traffic,
the shudders and yawns of a distant bandoneon;
from a bar on the opposite side of the street,
over the blink of small glasses, two men
discuss metaphysics, or literature;
from previous listenings you know, in an hour or so,
the talk will come round to the subject of women,
and then to one girl in particular;
and end with the phthisical freshing of metal
(you will whack up the volume for this bit),
a short protestation that ends in a gurgle,
the screak of a chair-leg on ironwood parquet
and your man spanking off down an alley.
Till then you will work.