I – vi – Changed Tents.

| May 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Monsignor Flambeaux attempts to clarify lines of jurisdiction while lumine at Sunrise Cage eavesdrop on the papal nuncio settling out of court. With the Rabbi Ben ‘tov Shapiro’s blessing, Frederick II is awarded suzerainty of Jerusalem and departs to survey his new bounds. Archangel Michael arrives at the Sunrise Cage, relates cost overruns in construction of City of God, cites suddenly a crumbling universe, and introduces Nicean third race, tictuses.

I — vi — Changed Tents.

“Yes, my son,” the Monsignor confirmed. Sasha urged him to continue hoarsely. “A mountain ash, my son: the chain broke and she fell several feet to the ground in a swoon. Novitiates quickly removed her to the infirmary and, being a strong lass, she recovered swiftly. Arising to miss the crucifix she’d treasured for so long, Agnes hastened to recover it. But only the broken chain remained. Poor Agnes lost all zest for life. Surrounded by candles, she retired to her cell to stare at it, refusing all sustenance. Unsuccessful coaxing and ever more forceful methods were quashed by the Superior, saying, Deus vult. Day by day Agnes grew thinner. The days grew into weeks and months as the grounds grew sadder still.
      “And lo! It happened that with the new moon of high summer the Moors descended by ship to raid Valladolid and the surrounding hinterland. A number of the boldest imams sought out this place, intending to atone for debts rendered from the desecration of the mosque at Valencia. The helpless denizens shrank back in terror, yet Agnes emerged from her cell to greet the invaders. The Moors halted at her appearance. Conferring through their interpreters, they learned the story of Agnes and departed, moved and saddened, after folding up their travel guide. The abbey was saved.” “As for Agnes?” “She died three days later.” The Monsignor paused to regard Mme Meringue cautiously.
. . .
Feeling hampered, the campfire girls with the sad eyes gathered loose threads in the foyer. “How come you didn’t do that already,” exclaimed the second? “I thought she was going to do it,” the third replied, indicating the first. iamin’thelim, diverted by the flurry, whispered to Aira, “who are they?” “The Norns.” “Say again?” “The Norns of the Standing Stone.” “Oh, those Norns.” Then Tut–and–pish–posh turned to his cloth twisters and exclaimed, “why do the people go in with stinky feet to the house of shadow puppet?” At this, the Norns rallied. An Archangel, worn with care, demanded entrance into the Sunrise Cage. Despite the serious breach of protocol, they motioned him to the bar.
      The Archangel, his face streaked with marble tears, pitched his flaming sword into a corner and ordered a bowl of steaming hyacinth. Fumbling for his last sovereign, iamin’thelim also approached the mill, unable to ignore the conversation of a nearby barrator, who kept insisting, “my client, just days after a tonsillectomy, was spanked by the day nurse at your archdiocese.” “I have looked into that,” was the reply. “Your client repeatedly wandered down to the nurses’ station and helped himself at the refrigerator, gulping everything left unsealed. Moreover, after further inquiry, no force transpired, as the lesson was intended to be fully moral.”
      The plaintive counsel parried, “conclusions drawn from the incident prevented my client from completely enjoying the hereafter. He insists upon pressing for full satisfaction and will regard anything less as discompensatory.” The reply froze all conversation at the bar. “Just an old second, Antonio, is that you?” iamin’thelim listened as his colleague denied this vehemently. “That is you, Antonio, you ambulance chaser, and in the name of shadow puppet, I cast light and salt upon thee. Millions for defense, not a guinea for tribute!” Emitting objections, the barrator waltzed into irrelevance as unprepossessingly as possible, and while iamin’thelim gazed apprehensively at the abandoned telephone, another one rang at the Curia.
. . .
A concoction over three nights of tossed leaven.
. . .
[Tetrabiblios: The insistence of the Rabbi Ben Tov Shapiro upon conducting his antithesis in Aramaic necessitated the ensuing translation — N.T.]
“Decreed warm air, began, kept the lid over a golden augment of ethnology: that twitch felt throughout the world provided sole unction; too many canned ills instead brewed taboo calliopes of destabilized out–source and bid ciao to underwritten liability in anteroom 1920.
      “In waltzier ellipsis hearkened this loonish mentor to the smattered hop and recoiled at dawn from profane wages. A slightly embedded radish bee yawned all askance, in faux pas airy lamentations, over her ruined solecisms and vetoed those echoes of true flippancy, maddeningly livelier than Athabasca things rebussed to Jerusalem with chalcedon mists. So amorphously, an ointment editing elf styled as ‘the fender of the Earth’ acknowledged, in semi–euphoric Vedic rites, that fyrd was still inkblots away from hiring true things for the publican reality. Limbic man fell out as de jure in nascent jihads: until proved incompatible with attentive coverage, free recessed nutcases, that were greatly worn, howsobeit dissolute, evaluated into every sales conference a concession indeed that civility was far too expansive to be perceived in isolated humanoid servers.
      “Now, more or less, somnambulist things mostly begone, a dollop of manqué uncalled for renewed this compline in the silence of ubiquitous loco pinion nuts, to remedy disconcerted fusion, existing conceptually, insofar as live eternities were flaunted at accordion recitals jarring tulip growers. Three characteristically myopic songs of flummery: meltdown, floss, and seashells, had all assorted, in cheerier moments, colossal hedges definitely apropos of introverted ad lib time outs providently mental. This forced vocal dyads, once at odds with esoteric liturgy, into an impertinent ogling of vermiform poinsettias, privily aged in dim unity, and intractably grown from truisms affably everyday, since Livy permeably felt too wasted to furnish a stealthy ecology for humanoid life forms.
      ” ‘This exertion, we bleeped,’ the obvioregals sobbed mickly, enjoining the watchdog password barn. That rueful (ought nevermore static edict limits lie as such) wash racks panted for rubrics of neon weddings, and as adhered toasts rang acutely blanched, we clenched powdery foams that drew concepts of reprehensible demagoguery. With pugnacious blinks so penitent, we saw into a hive, rather tautologically suede by profession, concentrically attired in tandems of specious incests, and irresponsive of facets, we treaded the murky metempsychosis. Warily terse, alembic manifolds tobogganed toward a [sic] firmament beyond an aperture which comprised the stultifying ‘meltdown of our rotisserie.’
      “To deepen our staunch Stone Age angst, decorative eruptions of flabby gerunds speciously intersected irrational schemes; hence a fabulous hope in yore wasn’t heeded. Leapily monads reposed astern; their systemic ethnocentricisms, erring on the side of tautology, held that the dead terrains were accountable for history. Above all others, singing should we augment creation with a generous portion of our own lists, witangemots of Nicean cygnets fielded composts, patent featureless meniscuses, which belabored to ring in the new world before it really sucked.
      “How at this pointless momento Las Vegans’ waxed rhapsodic prisms of the new Jerusalem admitted histrionic versions so idealistic, that only causal beliefs in ‘these prescient offloads of convenience’ equivocated in 90210 to stop that astral enemy at the dais of Galilee, was in an elliptical manner veiled on the shelf until the romantic Adventist, strobing against darkness of Ubersichten, emboldened null engines to clutch inbred tattoos of inspirationally moldy pupalae co–option. As limpidly one’s sidereal Jerusalem took off, disproportionately hot potato monads, especially tictus, inordinately influenced by filthy and pale artisans, noted the infancy of semaphoric tinsmiths devoted to the accuracy of inter–regnum.
      “These insidious tuitions (if one believes they’re so–called ‘thin kite inks’) must, improperly runcible, owe tribute to the slightly evident. Omnipotently, the ‘whole illicit obscuratory’ mostly rose, manured by heliocentrism, and presumably windowed from this next proposed sift–along of roughly tons of inter–regnum codicils in the silent trifling reach for tetrahedrons. Their sultry wood bees eradicated national strategy and fomented opium tours whence ‘the abject hive realtors formed widget springs.’ If your only sin indeed notably undid heartache, the sad tictuses reformed, inter–regnum soon missed a predilection bronzed out in courtroom dramas of the trademark century. Yet so whatever were all implemented note gophers wont to debug Jerusalem 90210 for her seriously fabricated ‘Higher Flaw’ and her fleeing into deals with reticent Hittites that, in a snit, the flip sides were clothed, ipso tempus natura de jure, in a listless vile mantle of subjective rhetoric.
      “All that glittery rinse format soon required Woodbines, a plucked vacation of logarithmic and scented method acting, nudged analysts who seemed quick to grasp benefits, a day–old Linzertorte, per se (as last seen on the mid–term john in a tizzy), wily forgetful tinged smores, pungent with tictus extract, the debacle about whether finth (anointed slobs) overtly hand–checked the scones from the menue, a needle in a pimento loaf, and one man’s forthcoming reprisal of ‘Maypole, a tickled sob server story,’ touted as a bastard of modem conscience in last week’s Pravda. Unworkably, thanks to ink–stained half profilers, a bent ebb abutted these ‘piece meal lint arrests’ again, instilling impassioned agues too refined to avuncularly risk absolute corruption. Jerusalem resides within grippy oolithics and stealthy causes since she likes another quasi–fallible procurator, amply dissolved by three filaments of technocracy, logically nerveless, and reposes nascent illusions for other burrowing thanes. Far from the participles of the scenically methodical witch who’d used emotionally stable foil, rodeo–Christian ethos (albeit herein aggregate disputes innately tentative tantricized hence) must have evaded a metaphoric ban after all to deafen ‘that lodestone over sanctity.’”
. . .
The Archangel accepted the largesse of iamin’thelim with a sorrowful snort. “It is a measure of things that I must be accepting charity from a servant of Belial,” he moaned. As they gathered, the Archangel commenced his tale. “I had not been human in ages,” he began. “Was that what to say when joined from without?” They began to reply, but with a fresh wail, the Archangel interrupted them. “I wouldn’t go far were I not too safe to believe the carrying ever forward of one other way, memories of youth, tang of expectation dashed, soured, curdled, or yodeled away by a series of wholly unrelated factors that seemed to have no bearing on the situation, allowing me to contain my disappointment in knowledge of my own witless happenstance. The million mild and thrilling ayes of a moment withal were but a flock of tiny fowl ascending the dark sky of an everlasting No. The intention to be so bleak to sound an ever present warning not to be alone seemed what the world obliged one all ever after, one hundred and fifty times on the blackboard, every afternoon after school. I wonder what I might have done to come from my upper tens with such a fixed disinclination to get married.
      “Day in, day out, all kinds of flings without words were my lot with them from all on. A rural growing up, a tale best not fathomed for sharing disturbs my intent to abduct the bride described by the Song on page five eighty–one of your new standard versions (flippety–flippety–flip): ‘How beautiful are your feet in sandals.’ Though the staff enjoined in haste to begin singing this, the Archangel waved impatiently for renewed silence.
      “By way of His choice of wise counselors, shadow puppet stopped before me and placed his hand upon my brow. ‘Michael,’ He said, ‘do you really believe that all of this will truly endure?’ ‘No,’ I replied, for reality wasn’t even in the dictionary until recently. Reality was the word to describe a condition. The sense of arrest occasioned by yet uncorrelated events of my twenties was broadly conditioned. It seemed more romantic to be at liberty to roam until left with naught but invented affinities. This state permitted me to allow for my own memories of acres of brides, wreathed in flowers of Carmel, with noses like towers of Lebanon, of sparkling pools eyes, of rest of the carriage, fawn–like, a bejeweled goblet of wheat, all I could recall and imagine. Again to aver of a time that would have once been mine, was to agree to be shadow puppet’s best man.
      “The Lamb, though burdened with sins of mankind in eternity, made preparation for receiving the bride, as untoward though she fancied herself as being, for inclusion into His ever–reigning household. Yet, this was held to be against the work of his commission, as in saving of sinners. ‘How could anyone balance such two diversely calendar projects,’ the accuser shouted at me? It was to no avail. The son of man ordained the foundation of his stead.
      “My duties were, simply put, to keep the bride out of trouble while the city was being built to house her. The bride was to be both brother and sister unto me. Yet, I chafed at her willfulness and design. I allowed myself to think. That letting go of her would be the way of wisdom was what I decided as a suitable course of (in) action. Thus freed to regard the gain of experience as a most wholesome measure of worth, intently I approved of my resolve to bring a chaste yet experienced bride before shadow puppet as, stone by precious stone, foundations of the city were stamped upon the plain of lasting bliss.
      “Let into the house, I saw all of that: the ring, the closing of all that must happen before this may be stowed upon; the train, that of legend straightened on the narrow isle; the groom, his heart gladdened in the light as love approached, all would bide my incessant fumbling of words as most soon to be appointed.”
. . .
“Now you have the sad story,” the Monsignor concluded. “But the rest is sadder still. The abbey was revered as a free shrine for almost three hundred years until the Crown, to pay debts, authorized the abbey to be apportioned to the Order of the Ducts. The new owners, Cartesians, mostly of English cloth, developed a liking for the climate but did not suffer frequent visitors and soon locked the grounds behind wall and chain. In 1574 King Phillip II expelled the English and held the property as security to finance maritime operations. In 1588, the property was foreclosed. In 1602″ — the Monsignor paused to note everyone staring at him — “in 1602, the abbey was merged with lands of a Piero, a wealthy planter, with the stipulation that a portion of the grounds, including the original tower in which we now stand, might remain as a chapel and open on certain holy days.
      “In 1777 one of the Pieros perpetrated an act upon a servant, that might in those days be regarded as forgivable given the social climate, but one that awakened the outrage of the bishop, a most enlightened man who had read of Rousseau and very many other authors. Apparently, the Piero tithe had also been in arrears for some decades. Securing approval of the citizens of Valladolid, who had been offended by Piero’s insistence on milling his own corn, the bishop marched with a swiftly growing contingent. Faced with these odds, Piero agreed to dismantle the mill. The bishop agreed to close the investigation upon payment of a million ducats. The townspeople agreed to withdraw their forces upon payment of a further million ducats. Piero refused. The bishop offered to grant a special dispensation upon the town allowing it to forgo its tithe for two years. The townspeople revolted. The bishop was mocked and driven away. The mill was destroyed. Piero and many of his house died. The townsmen, breaking into these very cellars to drink the vintage of the century, slept uneasily in the wake of the riot.
      “Two days later Bourbon soldiers encamped about the town. They were told to deal with these communists (as some of the more fluent townspeople were styled) without compunction. Most were hanged. The town was administered as an ecclesiastic holding until 1857, when it pledged one hundred thousand florins to finance a campaign against the Risorgimento. By consensus, the bishopric was reduced to these very grounds as part the comprehensive Treaty of San Stefano of 1878, moreover, retaining the exercise of jurisdiction in any matters thought capital.” The Monsignor, finishing, looked around resourcefully.
      “But this was an accident.” Van Etnabaron’s retort sent the Monsignor into a tailspin quickly averted. “I will send a message to the nuncio, reminding him of the treaty and requesting that I serve as chief investigator. He will also inform the local authorities. We can proceed as soon as I have received his approval.”
      “In the meantime,” Sasha interrupted, we have to find the young Anselm. The Monsignor bowed, “I would heartily second your efforts, but to be just in the eyes of our shadow puppet, not until we have received the confirmation of the nuncio. In the meantime, I would have your vow that you will forget this for a time.”
      ”Let’s get out of this room,” Meringue urged. Feeling his hand seized by Marta, Sasha hastened to agree. “I will forget for twenty–four hours!” He vowed and fled with Meringue, struggling to remember what had just happened.
. . .
At this denouement, the Sultan al–Kamil said, “if we’re sitting at your table, knocking out this article, how can we convey to the listeners why anyone would care who has minimal interests in admitting quite freely everyone, that we are learning in sad decency a tolerance that is the best surety, and in practice I am compelled to offer the far–fetched analogy of the man who declared himself the master of the universe because he could block out the sun with his left hand, which most certainly posterity will heap on our platter were we to intransigently scorn a chance for ecumenical amity.”
      This piece of self–scolding enabled Mr. Ng to scoop up the remnants of script from earlier versions with a favorable grin, whilst elated old dapper tenants quickly took up the offer of retroactive jubilee ordained by the heir apparent and showered the arriving beekeepers with promissory confetti. With a hardy sigh the flimsy crews dissolved leaving considerably subconscious orthographic projections. The Sultan al–Kamil, asked how he could have so blithely dispensed with the site of the most blessed Prophet’s ascent, replied, “of all faiths, our is the least subject to stultifying hieroglyphics,” and left before the side effects could be digitally re–mastered.
. . .
Frederick, the new suzerain of Jerusalem, was free to pace the boundaries of his protectorate as best he might. Its mnemonics evident, here real listless motor scooters bringing this Idiopath to wonderland promised, you’d flap as is rats in a toga nose, presumed after Erewhon met cislunar buskins wroth. Their Euclidean lanyards already itchy with snug enigmas, and wreathed in draped moxies, regurgitated mesomorphs floundered in the gloaming throughout. Their Stygian forms tenuously hurrahed in the face of a curious irreconciliability, as we reverberated, not alertly, prefacing their tabloid coracle glossily. Near the alleged viewpoint, where each law was resected to feed the busy quest for institutional power, another variously cast–off person faded into unrecognizability.
      Be that as it may, a year earlier Frederick, as much a prisoner of his own time as anyone, idly scrolled past the almighty murals of retail kewpies. Seldom mad or drowsy, he ranged like Rembrandt in equipoise, archly redacting their departed dewdrops before the Idiopath might blacken overcast with a singlet more. Soon after work, on his own time, Snorggi sneezed an air of martyred amusement, and beneath figuring, despite acute tatters, on a fustian Nemo whose ibid aha sahib had control issues, nebulous virgules of tainted ruffled stilly occluded. “Screw these critics,” the Idiopath tamely sub–stratified in tenor pain, my stainless Assisi honks for Noone.” “If anyone conceded he got around, I’ll shrug until noon,” a twit oompahed leerily. “Whomsoever reaps Samothrace, let him ring jetsam eagerly sought, now that many are tantric.”
      Moreover, a biscuit toss from bonkers, no surreptitious Mafia nimbly descended. A hushed breath drew crowds. Wading the chintzy bridge, Nebula turned away in silence. “Back, dour personal dust mice,” she sang! Pale revelry lifted to drizzle gravity on every sunlight, gingerly unanimous of their rights and freedom flew in the face of the constipation, a zealous snowflake which smurfed on a case–by–case basis. “Expressionism, motif, nit–picked,” she replied, “clip–on monads, all law is the seed of annoyed sapience.”
      In the beginning, still on a diet, those otiose ding–dong mall warts tossed back full Big Gulps and rued not their transgressions. Shadow puppet signaled, quo vadis, His feet at ground zero, yet they blew kisses and dusted off their knees. This failsafe repartee, never a good idea, forced a cameo appearance. He cursed them to wander forever in despair, without honor, in endless search for a clean rest stop. All told, a tempura cold sore trapped Earth also. Selah. Now, which drama in natural selection, as remade, wrought their inane moments?
. . .
“Yet while this beautiful sentiment was going on, I was also to throw shadow puppet’s bachelor party,” the Archangel continued. “Moreover, I was also called to manage, with time a–dwindling, the account of founding, paving, stubbing, joisting, filling, fitting, filamenting, and finishing of the New City.
      “Seven servants, given me, were all a steward might desire. Of great ability and craft were they as I watched the golden plumb, descending from heaven, lay lines of measurement. They sped to obtain precious slabs, fitting them so concentrically that no sound was heard. Red iron jasper stretched upon the bedrock of time. Atop this glowed a sheet of sapphire, blue as the last porcelain frost of spring. Noble chalcedony followed in a bath of milky rose, and emerald, its convex edge refracting mysteries of a tropic stillness.
      “At this stage, I left the skilled servants to carry on and suggested to shadow puppet that He and his bride appear on a popular television–dating program as a way to break the ice. Shadow puppet appeared to adopt my recommendation without demur for, although in great pain, a certain giddiness had overtaken His features and He seemed amenable to practical counsel from any quarter. He said he was departing to be with dada for a time.
      “While away, I savored my plans and rested awhile upon the pommel of my sword. Perhaps I overlooked creatures that scampered into paradise during the brief neglect of my watch. At any rate shadow puppet returned, pale and grim, and dismissed the servants to shore up the seven corners of a suddenly crumbling universe. To complete my task, I had to make do with new servants, neuro–Niceans no less.
      “The new architect looked over foundations of the city with an economy of disdain. ‘Sir,’ she said, ‘you might want to consider using a less expensive material.’ As I unrolled blueprints of shadow puppet’s plan, hoping the materials already decreed would put the neuro–Niceans to shame, they persisted, ‘sir, I know of a way to use a clay of sufficient tenability to assure structural integrity and achieve savings of twenty percent.’ ‘We wouldn’t want to crack the foundation,’ said the electrician, ‘when we add on the tower.’
      ” ‘What tower,’ I cried? ‘A tower isn’t,’ I fumbled into specifications, ‘even in the original plan.’ Don’t want the bride to move into an unprotected house, do we,’ the mason demanded? ‘Shadow puppet will be present. The bride will walk in perfect safety!’ ‘The tower will complement the temple,’ the mason persisted. ‘Shadow puppet shall be the temple,’ I replied. ‘We can best honor him with a temple,’ said the electrician. ‘Think of the lights!’ ‘We shall have no tower and no temple!’ The architect pouted, ‘it’s too bad I wasn’t called in earlier. We could have saved 25% on overhead with more than enough to install some security systems on all of those gates.’ ‘This meeting is adjourned.’ How I thundered, awaiting their departure! Ignoring this, they began whispering in a cliquish fashion. In my distress I fled into the wilderness to beseech shadow puppet to grant new servants. With fire and brimstone, I purified myself. Shadow puppet replied that the final battle, commencing, froze all staffs into maximizing existing resources.”
      The Archangel turned at a clamor behind him. “Lots of yelling and exploding things such as the bath, the bailout, or the bar might reside safely in texts, and behold the tictuses!”

Category: Act I Revised Ed.

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