Liber Jonae CAPUT SEVEN Page CAPH



_____CAPH_____

Your condition has not escaped the notice
Of angels assigned to monitor your file.
Our potent infusion of divine wisdom
Has had, I fear, negative side effects,
Stimulating an allergic reaction.
Maybe we should have had a blood test first,
But it's such a rare, improbable event,
Occuring with but one prophet per hundred,
That who could berate us for our oversight?

If ninety nine other prophets refused,
I said, then how could ever the hundredth
Find heart to find fault with your procedures?
Yet I do feel a little let down,
And a little hurt, and a little angry,
And a little inclined to pistol-whip you
Until you whimper and beg for my mercy.

I can understand you're upset, he said.
None of us are very pleased with the news;
You can imagine our disappointment
At this dire development, that our project
Will not present the yield we hoped
In terms of optimum message delivery,
Resulting in less perhaps of a Balaam
And more perhaps of his loquacious donkey.

What, exactly, do you mean by that crack?
Are you bastards at least competent enough
To say how serious my condition is?

The prognosis, I must admit, is grim.
That catalyst of spiritual knowledge
Introduced to chemical reactions
Taking place inside the obscure organs
In more remote regions within your gut
Is turning you into something high-tech,
Possibly a handsome digital watch
Or some hand-held electronic game.

You mean to say that you don't even know?

But we're narrowing it down, I can assure you.
You'll be nothing larger than a breadbox.
We'll know more when more data comes in.
I don't suppose, Jonah, you'd undergo,
After signing a form, a urine test?

I think I'll not compound former mistakes
And give consent without counsel present
To any enterprise angels suggest.
That entire subsystem, moreover,
That that includes the urinary tract,
May not, with certainty, produce output.

We know already quite a lot, in fact.
You won't, for instance, be a goose-necked lamp,
A stroke of good fortune, you must agree.
A team of principalities and powers,
Our consumer electronics division,
Feels safe in concluding, moreover,
That both your eyes will eventually evolve
Into blue, light-emitting diodes.
A major breakthrough on your power supply
Is expected momentarily, of course.

Then he began a moral monologue
On the old theme of don't count your chickens
And praise not the day before nightfall,
A discourse too witless, too tedious,
Too lengthy to repeat, even by me.
Instead, both to sate curiosity
And to expedite its earliest rebirth,
I shall give you, Marguerite, a summary.

Why not, she said, skip it altogether?



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