Thou Celestial Agency

 "And the sea stopped raging..."  - From Pennyroyal Caxton Press Edition of the Holy Bible, Barry Moser, Illustrator

"And the sea stopped raging..." - From Pennyroyal Caxton Press Edition of the Holy Bible, Barry Moser, Illustrator

The prayer of Jonah Feldman, kosher fag of Maspeth, Queens, trapped in the belly of a whale.

Thou celestial agency,

Who smiles on boys beaten senseless in the gymnasiums of America,

Cleave near;

Cleave near to the contused, both those who in their disgrace

tell tell tell,

And those who mutter nothing and enfold memories deep in the filing cabinets

Of dark juvenilia,

thou celestial agency,

Perform not thy vanishing act again;

Shower infinite compassion on those who know polysyllabs

But rarely utter them;

Love all lovers in exile;

Love the impossibly obese, love the leprous, love the homely, love the

Embittered, love transsexuals, love eunuchs and pedophiles,

Love all abdicators and deniers;

Love all those with unusual gaits and bad speech defects,

Love Jews and Armenians,

Palestinians and Tibetans, love Chechens and Albanians;

Let the names of hatred be made into names of


Thou celestial agency,

Until all degradation is past;

Bear up accretions of words and names of disgust,

And build a new ocean to contain them;

Thou celestial agency;

Thy ideas are sometimes bunk,

But thou has bisected day and night and thus fabricated the dusk and the dawn, the perfect poise between things;

Love thou the disenfranchised who crowd around thy absent shadow, unable to

Finish their business;

For thou hast made masculine power and made the football coaches and

posturing, steroid-addicted simians who are drunk with it,

Bear up those who lie awake at night, pacing the floor in convulsions of

Exile, who weep such torrents that dry fields everywhere are irrigated with the

Floods of their misery–which tears are more numerous?

Give the batterers a stern talking to, thou celestial agency,

For they have bilked every shareholder;

For they have staffed and directed every army,

For they have directed every dictatorship,

For they have purged every dissenter,

For they have applied the electrodes to every political prisoner,

For they have committed every genocide.

How the hour grows short, celestial agency, there will soon be only the batterers

and their veiled wives,

Show us thy justice and we will lay down our vanities.

Rick Moody is the author of many novels and stories, including The Ice Storm and Demonology. His most recent book is The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions; this is his most recent prayer. Read the rest of the story in Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible.