Liber Jonae CAPUT SIX Page ZAIN


Don't you dare sell me short, you bird brain.
I minored in philosophy, majored in gym,
My mind and body are in perfect balance.
I know how to do the yoga postures
While considering effects of first cause
On Hegel's master-slave dialectic,
How to swim laps and to do pushups
While tuning my breath with the infinite,
How to detach essences from existence
While doing somersaults in midair,
How to parse logic doing handsprings,
How to hum Om on the parallel bars.

This was before the country music band?
I stand corrected, I said. You are profound.
That's just why I feel I can talk to you.
It's almost like talking to myself.

It occurred to me once, said Marguerite,
That I alone am the only real mind,
That everyone else is just illusion.

Why tell me? I said. I won't argue.
You're real, I'm not. But, even so,
I've my own soliloquy to conduct.
If you still possess the stomach, eavesdrop.
You may even learn a new thing or two,
A thing, for instance, about the construction
Of that building I even now approached.
The Temple was a brickwork ziggurat,
A nine story artificial mountain,
Each course a setback from the one below.
You find, at ground level, window displays
For factory outlet retail stores.

I know warehouses that look like that.

In these displays, it's worth it to note,
Not one mannequin wore sackcloth
Despite work each frozen stance performed
To demonstrate fashion about to hit,
Although one headless torso that wore
A nice leather motorcycle jacket
Seemed to know the posture that Shiva taught,
The one in which my own body is locked.

Isn't it great to meet a kindred soul?
And that's why I'd sweep the frequencies
To find an interstellar alien mind
With the same thirst for right wing politics,
Masonic conspiracies and football scores
And fornication with Hollywood stars,
Had I a combination clock radio.

These shops occupied the bottom floor.
Above was office space, for sale or lease.
To the right was where the apes were once tied,
And to left sat a pool where crouched cats,
Covered over with ulcers and running sores,
Peered intently into the still waters
And didn't move except to lash their tails.
But I did't spend much time admiring
The features of this edifice from afar.
The Temple's architecture and appearance
Frankly were of secondary interest,
And the chief point to one such as myself,
Prophet-Assyriologist of the Lord,
Is the very fact it was made of brick.

But what, she said, isn't made of brick?

It's quite true, Marquerite. All is brick.
All Nineveh is made of one substance,
One substance formed and sun-baked in parts
And fitted together with visible joins.
The brickwork is so ubiquitous here
That folk, like flies, grow multiple eyes
And see the world as rectangular cells
Held together by rigid mortar grids,
As catacombs in which pupae are curled,
Caterpillars gripped by rigor mortis
From which inner moths will never escape.
I see many little caskets of brick,
Each a sarcophagus that cans a coil,
Each a carapace for a foetal nine,
A cuneiform worm that's been mummified.
That's what I see within a prison wall.

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