Side by side, on the shelf,
a children’s book of Hindu deities,
and a book about Browns’ tailgating.
What randomness assorts itself
in our lives,
and how. ‘Deity’ reminds
me of telling Mary,
just yesterday, that ‘Jupiter’ is a slurring
of Zeus Pater (as in deus
ex machina.). Two tremendous
-ly foreign words melding
into another we both know,
and don’t: obvious
and obscure. How the planets
have given their names to our days,
and the gods their names to the planets:
Saturn’s-day, Wotan’s-day, Thor’s-day.
How just this morning I’ve been teaching
the planets to Jackson.
“Life’s nonsense pierces us with
strange relation.” How, at the tailgate
of a hearse, I was reminded of
Browns’ Sundays. It was the funeral
of the book’s author’s mother.
(The title is a line from Wallace Stevens’ poem, “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction”.)