I wonder who it was that first deduced
It's best to fix the frame and spin the door
Than anchor door, revolve the ziggurat
From carpark right up to restaurant.
Armand and I ate in such a restaurant,
One that revolves slowly, high up, once.
Who'd ever eat there twice, Marguerite,
Except the drunks who like their rooms to spin?
The panoramic views of smog-clad hills
Will whizz around so fast you'll lose your food,
Even your plate, your silverware and cup.
They're dragged away by centrifugal force,
Tablecloth and all, tossed against glass
To stick and chatter, agitated teeth.
It's that brief, queasy, uneasy feeling
That animals get before earthquakes hit,
The banshee shape that goes out the door
The very moment that you go in.
Where it stops or goes, nobody knows,
Like the ball that races around the wheel,
Merry-go-round, horses up and down,
Grail castle, Ezekial's mother ship.
It's a simple device, cleverly made,
Akin somehow to the subway turnstiles
That serve to introduce departed souls
Into caves of automated transit,
Or dispensers found in vending machines
That squirt out an ounce of flavoured liquid
Before it dumps a crashing avalanche
Of inexpensive ice to fill the cup,
Or laundromat driers that tantalize
With one brief and lukewarm breeze per coin.
In each of these there exists a spirit
That serves with smiles the timetable posted,
As stuck in strict routine as Sisysphus
Or those who stoke locomotives with coal
Or cuckoos caught in the cuckoo clock.
I'd wake them and take them back home to mom,
Teach them names of baseball superstars
And feed them chowders made from corn and clam
If only Pharoah'd say yes, prophet,
Go ahead, just take them all and go,
For I've no further need for groaning slaves.
Let's get to the point, said Marguerite,
Let doors still aspin recede behind.
Inside the King's Palace a clerk was posed
So all who enter must approach her desk
To state their business and receive blessings.
I'd arranged an appointment beforehand
For an interview for the Oracle job,
And so I strode up to her desk and said,
The Godhead has sent me to repair
The grave peril in which you find yourself.
Peril? said the clerk. Repair? Godhead?
The name Godhead does not ring a bell.
Did you happen to bring a purchase order,
Or is that one of our regular vendors?
Then recognition lit up her face.
You're here to fix that copy machine
That has so frustrated our office staff
And filled the dumpsters with excess paper
Attempting to duplicate an invoice
For aftermarket helicopter parts.
You were due here Tuesday, two weeks back.
She stood, took my arm, and guided my way
Down a long hall lined with office doors.
The floors here, curiously, were paved in glass
That, when struck with high heel, gave a tone,
Almost the middle C of tuning forks,
But not quite, off enough to cause pain
To those of us equipped with perfect pitch
Attuned to wavelengths the djinnkind choose
To conduct home glad hymns their choirs raise.
And such discrepant noise, I understood,
Was what professional forecasters call
An early warning sign, a word to wise
That said clearly enough for all to hear
The path you follow here is not approved.
Liber Jonae Contents