Spectators, spectacle, no different
from any arena. Money and blood --
the literal, the metaphor -- will flow
between the shot clock and the dancing girls,
but now we wait and watch as Advent drains,
unnoticed, down the red and green hillsides
toward court and Christmas. Oh say can you see ?
We look. The armies gather, good and bad,
the nouveaux Manichees, gnostic as hell-
and-heaven, locked in death-grip and in scape-
goatery without ransom or rebirth,
just numbers in a stall. A good time ? Dial.
Our fingers freeze. December, the North End,
blue noses and blue teeth clamped to each ear.
Watch, damn you, listen, look, it's Advent, pre-
game, countdown to the show, our spectacles
are fogging over with desire. For what ?
We wish we knew. This twilight doesn't gleam
for me or thee, but overhead where God
(in ages past) hung helpless, now there hangs
the Jumbotron, panoptical, shilling
whatever -- fish, flesh, flash -- its roving eyes
devour on our behalf. (Behold ! Be whole !)
But look -- no, look ! -- it's you and you and you
elect in that big eye, all four facets !
I watch it watching you as you watch back,
its temporary apple; a flush of joy
crimsons your cheeks, your smile illuminates,
astonishes: how beautiful you are,
all of you, guests of the big screen, worthy,
if only for a moment, to be seen
just as you are, embraced, and then released.