For John J. Miller

by Richard Brookhiser

For John J. Miller

The set-up: Patrick Leigh Fermor was walking in London when he saw “a strange message . . . insulting, enigmatic and vaguely improper” written on the panels of a folding garage door.


He was seeing every other panel — the door opened and shut concertina-style — so the full message was

He sent a description, with illustrations, to several friends, and one of them, John Wells, wrote the following, which H. P. Lovecraft could have written, if he wrote well.

Gaginonanus Speaks

Before the earliest burning light
Before the world that once was his
Hung turning day to turning night
Gaginonanus was and is

Gaginonanus, mightiest Lord,
Whom all the Seven Kings obey,
At whose high uncreated word
Preadamites were prone to pray

Great God of Gods, all nature’s grail,
The inward soul of every thing
Behind the Maya’s rainbow veil
Withdrawn, within, inhabiting

New gods and false as empires rise
Are worshipped, spires fall and climb,
All-seeing and with placid eyes
Gaginonanus bides His time

Like leaves the centuries are born
Like leaves are born to bud and die.
Gaginonanus smiles to scorn
The drifting aeons as they fly

Ignored, unknown, forgotten still
Gaginonanus sees their play,
The awful working of His Will
Until His dreadful Judgement Day

But now, O Prig! O Lax! O Loose!
That hour is come! O sunk in crime!
Your garages in constant use,
You dare not park at any time

His awful Name is manifest!
No cloud-etched letters skyward burn
The Blessed Ones who love Him best
Know their Great God will soon return

Behold, in these condemned last days,
Giginonanus, Lord of All!
As saints and sages dumbly gaze
His Name is written on the Wall.

The Corner

The one and only.