The only difference I feel, I said,
Is a terrible headache coming on.
You feel the premonition of a headache?
This is a good sign and a premonition
Of still better premonitions to come.
Now wait! Headache and premonition,
Except in strength, feel to me the same.
Now, if the headache that I'm now having
Is not the headache that I'm now having
But some headache that I am yet to have,
What headache is it I'm now having?
I'm almost certain it's getting much worse.
Is it only the memory of itself,
Or is it the memory's premonition?
And is everything that I think I think
Therefore not in fact what I now think
But what I will think, say, a year from now?
Can this same confusion last that long?
Possibly, said the angel, but if so
Then remember that thinking about thinking
Is a thankless yet necessary task.
How else know the good thoughts from the bad?
You're too immersed in the immediate, friend.
Transcend petty human criteria,
For you need to use more than size alone
To judge which fish to keep, which to toss,
Which thoughts are signals, which are pure noise,
Which phenomena are signs, and which ain't.
And with what do you suggest I substitute
My formerly efficacious criteria?
Your three microvolts of divine zap?
Of course. But let's channel these few volts
A little further onto your cortex,
Unwrinkled as yet by truth's complexities.
Of any plan what you should first address
Is not how good does it taste or feel,
But what will be the plan's long-term yield.
Next ask: what about my other yields,
How is my overall portfolio?
And lastly ask: can I get away with it?
Can risks be reduced to the vanishing point?
And you'll need immeasurable confidence,
A faith you're supernaturally charmed
And basking in light from hot, beaming stars.
Take on the persona of holy prophet,
A seer of visions, a dreamer of dreams,
Emancipated from reality's grip
And launched by fate through the rude exit womb
Along the ballistic of the Midas touch,
Your seed falling only on fertile ground.
Your outrageous fortune is fair assured
Just so long as it's known you're the prick
That the Lord has picked his widest smile with.
And how do you instill such a confidence
When all prior experience shows it false?
It has already been instilled, friend Jonah;
You need only realize your powers.
Tell me, might you happen to have a pin?
A pin? No, I stated. And why would I?
Oh damn! he said. We'll have to improvise.
Imagine a pin, Jonah, a small pin,
And then imagine the head of this pin.
Imagine looking at the head of the pin.
Now describe to me what you see there.
Why, they're tiny, little angels, I said.
Cherubim, no doubt, countless thousands of them,
A thriving, teeming colony of angels.
Liber Jonae Contents