This, then, is the complete game: disappearance and return.
[In craps, the “point” is a dice-cast that must be rolled again before a seven to win the bet. Seven, though, is the most common cast, so the odds always disfavor any repetition of the point.]
I came to all the senses that would come
and said: Enough. I came, and every sense
said: Not enough, still not. I came to. All
the senses that would come came here to say
Enough, enough. And suddenly I cared
once more that all the care might yet come back.
A THREAT HAS BEEN DETECTED, boomed the screen,
its popup box all urgent-lit and shimmered
with skull-and-crossbone icons, bone on bone.
You cast the dice until you get the point,
the number’s coming-back that comes to say
Enough, the shooter’s role is played, you licked
the odds. A resurrection is compulsion
to repeat, to say it’s not enough what came
before. You cast the lots to earn His cast-
off clothes, some soldiers sneering at a gape
of tomb. You get the point. It says: Not yet.
A THREAT HAS BEEN DETECTED. Move the bones.
In whose improvidence have we been left.
The rest’s assured: the Sabbath, resting God,
continual not-making. Rest assured
the bones will roll away. Then rest assured
that everything that can refrain refrains.
It all refrains: unstills itself, returns.
The rest is what remains. You carry it
across until divisor and dividend
imperviate each other through and through:
there’s no residuum, nothing left to save.
The penetrating numbers have to go.
The skulls repeat themselves. Save fast. Take care.
The screen goes blank before I hit the SAVE.
The rest of God, composed, as on a score,
that quietude that takes on music’s form,
dead air marked there by a double whole.
Who cares it’s saved if I can’t get it back.
Come senses care cast
Take rest saw go
Point threat save refrain
Roll the bones away
No more Control plus S, no more compulsive
nagging the system to find a way to Save.
You come to all your senses, cast the dice,
as if no longer making God the point.
Impassable ahead. We’ve got to go.
The undivided’s where we have to go.
You only know the rest if you can hear
the music it displaces. That’s the point, the
The threat that God’s impregnable: not the point.
The sibylline is where we’ve got to go.
We saw its threat. We saw it halfway through.
You come to all your senses (they had to come),
you bet the Pass, and then you bet the Come.
You come, and all the senses say: Enough.
You lick the odds; again you roll the bones
until you’ve got the point. You’re caught in this
compulsive rearousal, these unthroughs.
So listen to the rest. It’s all that’s left
to care for. Seven, again, will come. So rest
assured that care’s been taken. Rest assured
it’s taken far away. The odds are there.
The eradicated’s where I’ve got to go:
the seventh day, the Sabbath, seven-out,
rolling-away until the point’s wiped out.
Obstructed every way, we’ve got to go.
Beyond some warning screen inside a screen
inside a screen, the echolalic threats
expose the skull, the crossbones. Give back that care.
No-longer-making and all-Sabbath God
who knows the point. We cast the dice, we try
retracing all the ways that got us here
and come upon the point, the decimal point,
increasing decimation of what’s left.
Enough-of-God, residuum, the saved:
I want it back. I cast and cast the die
to earn the stripped-off clothes, the dying god.
Where we can’t go is all we’ve got to go
through. Some threat’s infected every cast
and still we bet the Come. The odds are all
for being left. The decimated rest:
elusive, saved. And marked by bones. We cast
the dice, we lick the odds, go back, and back.
We get the point. It comes. It says: The point
is all we get.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.