Verso 364


Identical, Eileithya said when she delivered the
brothers out of the shadowed labors of Night —

but their mother knew better, even before they
first drew in the unlit air and wailed it out again.

Sons of Darkness and the grandsons of Chaos
on both sides: These two would not flee her

embrace, as Brightness and Day had done in
the instants of their birth. These are good boys,

she thought; they will never leave me. Hypnos
cried a low soft music, and the black cat in the

corner blinked twice and then curled into itself;
Thanatos flung out a tiny hand in his hunger,

and a passing moth circled it, counterclockwise,
then flew off on silent wings to find a candle.

Verso 362

11/17/68, 7 p.m. EST

They still talk in certain diminishing circles
(Time has a way of emptying chairs at any
round table)

about the night the Raiders charged back
to beat the Jets with two touchdowns in the
last minute,

and nobody in the eastern half of the country
saw it, because right at seven, the network cut
away from

the game. They call it the Heidi Bowl: the night
ritual combat gave unwitting way to a little Swiss
girl’s story,

and that first time was also the last. From that
howling night foward, Coming Up Next waits,
stuck on hold

until the final whistle sounds. But no one says
too much about the ones who switched on their
sets just as

Heidi started, and smiled to see it because that
was what they had been looking forward to all

(Happy makes the news, but not much of it — a
few minutes late in the broadcast, after all the
flames and rage.)

Call the moment a triumph of fiction over fact, if
you will; real men, drained and desperate, flung
themselves at

each other, fueled by the vapors of their strength,
leaving the salt of sweat and blood on the grass
and their stained,

soaked uniforms, neither side knowing until the
end who would get the happy ending and who
would go home

beaten in every sense. But there is a struggle in
bringing life from the page to the screen, not so
much taking

on a character as letting a person emerge and be.
Every game is full of stories, and every story aims
to tear down

walls of disbelief. There is no shame in cheering
on the champions, none in putting the girl ahead
of the game.

Verso 361

The Great .com Mission

From the Gospel According to Another Mark:

Go ye into all the Web and
scream Good News in links

Whoever likes and shares will
be saved; whoever hides will
be condemned.

And these signs will accompany
those who like and share: In
My name they

will flame unbelievers; they will
write in jargons; they will type
out venoms

with their hands; and when they
read reasoned responses, it will
not affect

them at all; they shall lay their
hands on keyboards to block
and report.

Verso 359

signs behind the times

all the things we have
raised over the centuries —

ziggurats, passage
tombs, pyramids, megaliths —

in attempts to read our next
chapters by the lights

above, when all of them speak
to us from the past;

even the moon’s advice
arrives a second too late

Verso 358

March Morning, Noble County, Oklahoma

Seven-thirty, a suggestion of
sun. The world is down to this:

two strips of grey, coming out
of fog and going into fog, and

the silhouettes of bare  trees
(against more grey, featureless)

on either side  as we roll north
toward the Kansas line. My son

and my youngerself ride shotgun;
I share the driver’s seat with my

father’s ghost. Remember, we say
to ourselves, and the word is plea,

question and benediction in one.
Those in the passenger seat are

silent, one lost  in sleep and the
other in something yielding and

impenetrable as mist. Home is
out there, ahead and behind.