This, Marguerite, is a cold call,
For it's Nineveh's pure bad luck it gets
Not a superheated superhero
But subzero subhero instead,
Chilled in icy waters, served up cold,
A presentation truly substandard.
Don't you want to know what happened to me?
How I ended up in the sorry state
That now meets your discriminating gaze?
Okay, then, what happened to you? she said.
I don't want to talk about it, I said.
It was horrible, Marguerite, horrible.
Talk, or else, she said. Or else you're garbage,
Beak first in the congealed bacon grease,
Contorted around the clumped coffee grounds,
Mingling your being with the potato peels.
You're in a tied plastic bag on the curb.
That sound you hear, that whee hee whump?
That's the garbage truck. Ready? You're next.
Garbage? But what, my dear, of ecology?
Every one of us performs a part,
Except industrial polluters, of course,
Who for hardship's sake will stay exempt,
In transforming these arid wastelands
Back into a pristine paradise.
It is a duty we owe to those we sire
To return city streets to garden paths
That wind among the solar-heated homes.
Pay your debt to future generations:
It is time for a garden compost heap.
It is easy to do and takes little time.
As it happens, I am adept in that art.
I can teach it to you if you'd like to learn.
I picture you, parrot, a few days hence,
Shoved by a relentless bulldozer blade
To a stinking pit, to an unmarked grave.
I hear, Marguerite. And now hear me.
Make yourself comfortable and I will speak,
Tell the whole thing, what you want to hear
And what you don't, for there exist matters
Not discussed in more genteel circles
That speech must, perforce, plunge itself through
To find the right way to predestined ends.
And, to digress upon digression a bit,
There'll be, of course, a swerve here and there
In order to provide background you lack,
Along with any other pointless points,
Local colour and irrelevant asides
That my narrative circuits should generate.
And you'll learn here, for instance, many facts
That overhasty standard texts omit,
Tidbits of truth on God and his angels
And secrets of how heaven works wonders
And how, sometimes, it just botches jobs.
And here those parts they blacken out,
The very parts you most wanted to know
In your freedom of information requests,
Here those parts appear naked, smiling,
Frankly, fully disclosed for all to see.
Yes, you'll hear it all, the entire story.
I have some time before dinner, she said,
So go ahead, talk away awhile.
End of Caput 2
Liber Jonae Contents