Liber Jonae CAPUT ONE Page HE


Very well, said Vince. Let's move on.
To the pawnbroker he said, Watch your step.
You sound like a troublemaker to me,
And troublemakers, sir, in this city,
Are not tolerated for long at all.

Nascent luck had kept my secrets intact
Against bureaucratic interference
And kept the bureaucrats themselves intact.
My fury, once woken, will not abate
Until all around is smoking ruin.
I laughed to see them go swaggering off.
Had they known how close their fate had loomed,
They'd have radioed in wild requests
For backup, for swat teams and bomb squads,
For army reserve units actified,
For stealth aircraft launched, missiles deployed,
Spin doctors engaged and consultants hired.
Lucky Nineveh! They've deferred their fate
By overlooking heaven's keystone,
The one whose removal brings down all.
It galled, yes, to acquiesce quietly,
To stand without power to do battle
Against violation of my privacy,
To rob myself of well-earned bloodshed,
But future benefit required restraint.
Only a tight control thwarted desire
To go mano a mano, eye to eye,
And annihilate friends and foes alike
In one, glorious self-immolation.
Legend has it that holy men exist
Lodged unrecognized in key locations
Whose very existence maintains the world.
They're mystic stickpins, tacks in the map
By which geography is kept in place,
Each a pole that pulls its surroundings close
And keeps the sky's sudden, twisting suction
From hauling it all off to outer space.
Estimates have varied widely on numbers,
Ranging from forty up to four thousand,
Since who, after all, ever counts them?
They're all gone now, removed, obsolete,
Taken out of service by God himself
Who sent along me as sole replacement,
For I'm more influential, more holy,
Much more powerful, far more advanced.
Those holy men were mere precursors
To the last, most deadly, of all prophets.
I alone now sustain this structure,
And when I go I'll take all this along.
Yet the inquistitors had passed me by.
The fools left me behind to stand and wait,
For we also serve, we who stand and wait,
Some as beacons of truth in darkest times,
Some as doorstops, some as paperweights.
I needed do nothing to spread my light
Except stand around and survey the grounds,
Look around at things while looking good,
Perform my now-ceremonial role
Of good luck piece, charming lucky charm,
Systemic trunk, totemic figurehead.
If not for me, the lightning stroke of luck
That illumines all in this neighbourhood,
All would go unobserved to perdition,
Just erased, never brought back to life
To face leisurely reconsideration.
All these things would husk and blow away
If not for me, sent to see and recollect.
It's a full time job, but the job's mine,
And thus I'd kill them if I ever slept,
If ever I left off looking around,
But sleep I did, every chance I got,
And felt so much better afterwards
Despite the high, consequent death toll;
The life lost, after all, was not mine.

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