Nimrod & Gabriel
Set up shop
One was a gaoler
One a cop

Gabriel & Nimrod
Ho Ho Ho
The sky turned black
& the wind began to blow

                                                           Polling Place

Jason:            What does your phone say?

Kendra:                                              Nothing, and nothing.
            Ten minutes with no signal: we’re off the grid.

Jason: And now you’re telling me?

Kendra:                                              Don’t do that, Jay.
            I tried to tell you. You weren’t listening.
            I said, I think I’m losing service. Said,
            My GPS is down. And you kept driving,
            Eyes fixed on the horizon like a man,
            Or like some other dimwit animal.
            I’m thinking that it’s time we headed back.

Chris: Hey hey. What’s going on up there? You know
            You’re not supposed to vote in other states.

Jason: Screw you. We haven’t crossed a border yet.

Chris: Well, that’s a little strange, because I’m in
            The state of Quite Bewildered at the moment.
            Hey Kendra, can I have another sandwich?

Marco: Far out. I recognize just where we are:
            That fallen barn, that hairpin, fire lanes.
            This is where we came for summer camp.
            But that was twelve, no, fifteen years ago.
            Kendra’s right, guys. We ought to turn around.
            I mean it. Now. Let’s turn around right now.

Kendra: I know that voting is a civic duty,
            But we’ve been driving over ninety minutes.

Jason: All right, all right. Look. There’s a gas station.
            I’ll pull in there and ask for directions.
            Besides, the fuel light’s on. I should fill up.

Kendra: When did it turn on?

Jason:                                    Just now.


I don’t think
            I don’t think   I don’t think   any of us
                        death is hard
            Mandy                        the state like criminals
                        where would he be  where would any of us
Well I don’t think      why should
            any of us                    is the free spirit
any of us not at the opera  did you hear that?
            just unproductive    
                        where were these sites?
            not at the opera       I don’t think
                        to dwell on that         any of us
who have a   job      not at the opera
            it’s several minutes              much bigger
from my Christ center          Well I don’t think
            I don’t even want to think
                        Mandy                        Frank Owens
the state like criminals        a flash of light
            how enduring and popular any of us
could probably         because        once they realize
            a grandfather            or a great-grandfather
That’s just the code any of us        later in the text

Any of us not at the opera
among those prime talents
hearts and such equalized
cinched up to the army.
And this itself
            in all their horror       for all eternity
and this itself
            a Brooklyn characteristic
and this itself
            the distinction between reference and narrative
and this itself
            malnourishment, inequity, discrimination
and this itself
            might be the lesson
and this itself
            is going to get sad for you, heart that wanted
            just to look out on a great big forest

and so bravely predicated. “If that noble nun
            could harbor the golden dingus,
                        show us the consequences
            show us the lion. If that gray shadow
could shelter the mercantile habit,
            show us pictures, show us
how you pull this one off. If that notable institution
could certify the deviations from the score,
            just to look out on a great big forest,
                        and so bravely predicated.

“If that noble nun     could harbor the dingus,
            show us the real thing, what a
                                    wonderful word. Show us the lion.
If that noble Gephardt
                        could have havened, could have shepherded,
could have reached a broad public,
                        isn’t this what you wanted?
            Mandy                        the state like criminals
If that megastar, not in the questionable sense,
            not with sails stretched, not looking back
                        from the prize location, misty,
            expansive as a stadium pass,
could have nonetheless ventured a pen,
            a piece of agitated writing,
                        the rest of the group trailing off
and this itself
            an example of what you might be looking for
“If that noble nun

Show us the lion. Wait a minute. Show us the lion.
I just have a little apartment.
Show us the lion. Hold on. Show us the lion.
I was on my phone. I’m on my way over.
Show us the lion. Keep going. Show us the lion.
I followed instructions exactly.
Show us the lion in its totality.
Show us the lion, a force to be extended.

Wait, what?
                        How many things, really, qualify
as being larger on the inside than the outside?
How many things have we learned today?
Your dad came by. How many things were happening
kind of behind the scenes, and not like I imagined,
more medieval, how many things
were ruined to further his vanity? I have my criteria.
Counting all of the things that go into and out of
my body. “I just thought about everything
stopping working, I thought of a river, a tree.
Look at that slow boat.”
You can dress a boy in this, you can dress
a girl. That was not so much part of the plot,
finding a certain animal, a cat. Wait, what?
Your dad came by. How many things
commenced by consulting the oracle?

It was a reschedule button to organize them,
and we were so tired. I were so tired
from the young man, from helping,
in no shape at all to travel. “They are scheduled
to leave Germany any time in the next ten minutes.”

The emergency brake slipped. Zero. Zero.
And it’s really sad. Bowman ordered me
to get into his plane. I’m sure my husband felt
that was all part of our good fortune.
Well, we would have been doing

a quarter of the business, maybe less.
And we were so tired. Unable to correct
for sleep or lack of sleep, the shelling,
Sebastian on the ground. These microphones.
It wasn’t really all thought out too well.

like I don’t think
                        what my
                                                what they
                                    what’s on her mind
            it’s what I don’t think            any of us
                        what had happened? What’s right
Can I just say what I see here?
                        death is hard
Mandy                        the state like criminals
            and what if
                        that’s what I
            with what this            is the free spirit
                        what happened to you?
Well I don’t think
                        to figure out
            exactly what she      did you hear that?
                        What Mirielle
                                    to figure out

guess what’s
            what’s on her mind
any of us        not at the opera
                        I get what you see
            where were these sites?
                                    what Colorado         Nebraska     
what one person
            So we don’t know
just unproductive
                        it’s hard to tell
            what she looked like
Abruptly, he wondered
                        and what we’re asking
who have a   job                  not at the opera
                                                and for what it’s worth
            You know what?
Know what?
            wondered what he would do          much bigger
than my Christ center
                                    unclear what role
                        or what he
                                                What’s going on in there?
Well I don’t think
            I don’t even want to think
                        Mandy                        Frank Owens
                                    and this is what                   
            wondering what
                        a guide to what
                                    But      I’m giving you
                        what the Trump White House
how enduring and popular             any of us
                                    what you would expect
the numbers             his parents    what we want           
                        was already said      we said it earlier
            what we want            was already said
            Esther remembers
                                    what went wrong
That’s just the code what   any of us later in the text

Any of us not at the opera
among those prime talents
hearts and such equalized
cinched up to the army.
And this itself
            were kept noticeably young
And this itself
            were anything
And this itself
            were some were forced
And this itself
            were lucky
And this itself
            is going to get sad for you, heart that wanted
            just to look out on a great big forest

and so bravely predicated.

Heroes are no fun. But occasionally one
will turn into a pair. Some of your friends
are there. You stand in a long line.
Then the heroes seem nice, almost kind.

For instance, here comes Nowhere Woman.
She doesn’t know where she is.
Help her, if you think it’s worth it.
Help her to remember herself.

The ocean looked happy, inside
it was empty. The ocean looked afraid.
The ocean will be here after you leave.
The ocean looked angry inside.

Then today is a holiday, the festival
of heroes. The heroes are giving birth.
What are they going to call the children?
The heroes give birth to a bird.

Nowhere Woman sits on a sofa.
Outside it’s turning into December.
She sings a little song that she made up
all by herself. It’s called “Twins of Fate.”

Twins of Fate

What were you going to call the children?
Tell me again, here, in this darkening yard,
here by the pool, while we listen
to the insects, buzzing and droning,
eating the leaves, biting at our legs,
flying and pivoting, catching the slightest hint of breeze,
never rising higher than the trees,
skimming the surface, and then the music,
snatches of computerized arpeggios
drifting over from the neighbor’s window,
high-pitched and friendly, beeping their way
across the cement, occasionally ominous
like a video game about to turn bloody,
to switch in an instant from gentle walk simulation,
exploring your environment, checking out
what the family might have left behind
in terms of letters and here and there some audio,
a tension passing through the actor’s voice
much as when on an otherwise ordinary day
a gust will pass over the tops of the firs,
its motion transmitting a sudden shudder
down to the lowest branches, that catch
or stutter in the voice your only clue
that just around the corner a region
of weaponry and arcane ammunition, the dead
come back to haunt the living: this is what
awaits you, says the music, at least
an undercurrent of it, or maybe just a section
that Barney hasn’t quite worked out as yet—
“Barney?” “I didn’t name them.” We stop
and listen past the insects and the music
to the gathering demonstration, murmurs,
halfhearted chants, the grind of heavy vehicles.
Twins of fate! Twins of fate! Twins of fate!