God's transcendence can't go immanent,
It's true, without quick change of costume.
It dons whatever garb now in vogue,
Grabs any rag handy, off the rack,
To fit right in with backwater styles
And show the yokels what they want to see.
But messengers never quite get it right,
Never compromise where it might help
A word to navigate your ear canal
Or guide healthy heaven's unpleasant taste
To slide smoothly through your digestive tract.
The overstated presentations made
By angels left beached in mashed potatoes
Never deceive seasoned eaters of fish
And never whet an honest appetite
For ordinary fare, for food as food,
Not as scenery to go snorkeling through.
But angels, of course, never take advice
From that same unrefined clientele
That once made unwise menu selections
That ever after branded them suspect,
Due only a barely concealed contempt.
I mean that uncouth couple who once chose,
Even though it came unrecommended,
The real fruit, not the one made of wax,
Real life, not the still life bit part
In Godhead's stiff paradise tableaux.
What fake birds want real fruit? she asked.
What plastic grass wants a real manure?
Artifacts desire artifice:
This is how nature meant things to go.
It's just disingenous, just a crock,
To spill crocodile drool over truth
Without tooth enough to chew tough meat.
Appetites like this lead to trouble,
That indigestion that Tantalus got
After tasting an unaccustomed food.
Compare the genes of apes, of chimps and men,
And learn that these species are much alike,
In essence, at heart, very much the same.
Stand back a bit, say a league or two,
And these two are quite indiscernible
And thus, by that law that Leibniz found,
May deemed as born identical twins.
So too organic and inorganic.
Their atoms, enlarged and stretched out in space,
Defy our science to say which is which.
No artifact, at least, ever stops
And wastes time guessing which berry's best
If two alike are hanging side by side.
I hear a chimp logic in human guise.
Let's look more closely at this premise...
I hate too the way that angels speak -
And speak is all they do, never listen,
Never solicit input from others,
Only take mid-sentence breaks for breath
So others never get to interrupt
And point out less entrenched points of view.
Their conversation irks me even more
When it turns elliptic and indirect,
Couched in arcane symbols and wordplay,
Shot through with games that intellects like,
Riddles, technical terms and Latin tags,
Acrostic-spelt names of favourite aunts.
Why can't these messengers speak plainly,
So that all hidden layers are exposed,
All secrets disclosed, ciphers deciphered,
And mystical truths all clearly conveyed?
Good footnotes too would sometimes help.
Parrots, then, she said, are a breed of bird,
A kind of fowl that when they take a dip
Will always choose the shallow end of pools?
Liber Jonae Contents