He's a false prophet, said Vince, and charged
With practice without license and sacrilege,
Disseminating hate literature,
Impiety, misrepresentation,
Uttering threats, slanders and foul language,
With libel and blasphemy and other crimes.
I omit here many lesser charges,
Traffic violations, parking tickets,
Miscellaneous misdemeanours,
Blunders, coughs, gaffes and mental lapses.
All his teachings have been ordered suppressed,
Sermons, pamphlets and books have been condemned
To be seized, shredded and transformed to ash.
Any reproductions of voice and face
That belong to Dhul-Nun have been ordered
Edited out of public consciousness
In a likewise catastrophic manner.
Those followers not yet in custody
Are commanded to disband and disarm
And undergo a reeducation
To reinstill respect for God and State.
The primary target of this cleansing
Is that false prophet himself, Dhul-Nun.
Orders say he must be put to question,
And not just to confess his many sins,
For there's money missing, a tidy sum
Not even counting delinquent taxes.

The pawnbroker offered no objection
As the technician plucked me off my perch
And brought me down to where on countertop
His open, activated laptop sat.
Under my tailfeathers he found the spot,
An input output jack that allowed
An easy parrot-computer connection.
He plugged in one end of a cable there,
The other end going to the laptop.

The pawnbroker laughed at this process.
Beware the parrot, upended and poked,
If not yet cold and set rigid in death.
You might, in imitation, lose an eye,
And go forward in future half-blinded.
I've heard of the divinations performed
By priests in vestments caked with pigeonshit
That use entrails, giblets or crops of birds
To help demystify clouded futures.
The birds themselves seldom survive the rite
And so, my friend, it comes as no surprise
Their tidings often bear a somber cast.
At last I understand, his end in sight,
Why the thing has always seemed so glum.
And what news of that absent Dhul-Nun
Will this rude augury expose to light?
And have you so closely followed the spoor
That you think you'll locate missing persons
By the rear extraction of thread-like clues,
Intestine-twisted parasitic worms
That dangle out itching invitations?
Or do your harbour a darker suspicion,
That the fugitive himself may hide inside,
Holed up in the cavernous rectal space?
What brought you here, in such close pursuit,
You end up rear-ending a stalled bird
And crawling nose first up the tail pipe?

Please desist with your dim witticisms.
And what was that thud I heard just now?

My wife, replied the pawnbroker, briefly.

Ah, noted Vince, we've found a sore point.

Confiscate her, sir, if you like, he said.
She's most likely, of all suspects here,
To have missing persons concealed inside.
Bring your truck around and entice her in.
Interrogate her at length at headquarters
While someone else hoses out the truck.

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