Memory of even mild recrimination
Will outlast that of the crime, she observed.
Here is the file you requested, said Toad.
It's the background for the application.
Are there any reports, inquired the King
On dead assassins disguised as repairmen?
I'll convene a taskforce to study files,
Said Toad, who blinked twice but didn't move.
Continue with your convincings, said Quintus.
Luck has delivered you this far, prophet,
But beware: it can leave you without warning.
I'll hear evidence now, and then I'll judge.
But don't call me prophet. Call me Jonah,
For so my parents, the poor fools, named me,
Believing it somehow a lucky name ...
But you begin to repeat yourself, parrot,
Said Marguerite. Where is fast forward?
As a parrot, Marguerite, I can recite
My life verbatim ad infinitum.
However, you know, events in retrospect
Often swell or shrink in significance
In response to the current exigencies,
To the contexts in which events are viewed,
And to the new venues for the evidence.
In some autobiographies decades
Of a life will take seconds to relate
And seconds of the life will take decades.
And then, told again, the reverse occurs.
I don't care. I can't take this again.
It's common, you know, when someone talks,
For there to exist point to what he says.
Is there a point to this disquisition?
If so, oh parrot, I've failed to grasp it.
If nothing's seen there, then nothing's there.
It's an ideal world only if wished,
Only if time has ripened itself enough,
And only if that pushing, unfolding force
Can bloom itself, bootstrap itself up
And burst open the bud that hides the fruit
To bring understanding to all who watch.
You can't tell anyone anything
They don't already know, already guess,
Like slave-boys theorems buried in sand
Or adolescents dark secrets of sex
Or kings the Godhead's preemptive strike,
Thread-suspended, poised just overhead.
I told Quintus my tale up to the fish,
Its command, its spell, and the sackcloth bit.
So that's it? That's your spell? said Quintus.
How much time is left to change your ways?
September, month nine, hath thirty days,
And thirty days hath the Ninevites yet
For Godhead's terms are thirty days net?
That's it, I agreed. So, am I lucky?
You are out of luck. Past, present, future.
For you, never even a chance at luck
Has come your way. What has seemed to be luck
Is, like the fool's gold, just fate's jest.
I know this, Jonah, because of my skill.
Skill, as it always has, carries the day.
I've always performed my due diligence.
My agents, you'll learn, are everywhere.
Thus the message you bring me is old news.
Liber Jonae Contents