Brendan Kennelly
A Man I Knew

1
‘I want no easy grave,’ he said to me,
‘where those who hated me can come and stare,
slip down upon a servile knee,
muttering their phoney public prayer.
In the wilds of Norfolk I’d like to lie,
no commemorative stone, no sheltering trees,
far from the hypocrite’s tongue and eye,
safe from the praise of my enemies.’

2
A man I knew who seemed to me
the epitome of chivalry
was constantly misunderstood.
The heart’s dialogue with God
was his life’s theme and he
explored its depths assiduously
and without rest. Therefore he spat
on every shoddy value that
blinded men to their true destiny –
the evil power of mediocrity,
the safety of the barren pose,
all that distorted natural grace.
Which is to say, almost everything.

Once he asked a girl to sing
a medieval ballad. As her voice rang out,
she was affronted by some interfering lout.
This man I knew spat in his face
and wished him to the floor of hell.
I thought then, and still think it well
that man should wear the spittle of disgrace
for violating certain laws.

Now I recall my friend because
he lived according to his code
and in his way was true to God.
Courage he had and was content to be
himself, whatever came his way.
There is no other chivalry.

Yesterday the clan was to go lunching at Andersen’s up in Santa Boredom. A sorta end of summer Scandinavian scamper. And maybe even some beach time so Eck could work on his farmer tan. But one touchy teen tummy put the kibosh on that. As a kinda makeup, Mrs. p and I decided to have lunch at Philippe’s today. Today, the first day of school. To instill and reinforce the concept of hard work and commitment, the first day of school is, of course, a minimum day. This meant that the Philippe’s party would have to hurry back to pickup and congratulate the students on their half-day achievement. Hurry! Hurray! There was much traffic and it took 75 minutes to get there. Arriving just after eleven we figured it would be quiet, but alas, the front room was awash with Dodger blue. Yep, a 12:10 game. Today we had the same carver as the last trip. Approaching the counter, I fumbled my sunglasses and they hit the deck. The impact proved fatal for the frames. I think a thicker bed of sawdust might have mitigated such disaster. We tipped big and took our tray of treats around the corner to stuff our cakeholes. The Dodger crowd began their exit, all in varying degrees of noontime abstemiousness. The food was perfect, the crowd was energized, and even the weather was acceptable. We rushed back to the vehicle where a forgotten phone was very frantic about its internal temperature. Mrs. p held it up to the air conditioning vent while I snapped the previously posted photo through the fence. Our return time was closer to 50 minutes.

Wild Colonials – This Can’t Be Life

Roxy Music – Siren

Slightly Stoopid – The Longest Barrel Ride

Heernt – Locked In A Basement

centrozoon – never trust the way you are

Sevara Nazarkhan – Yol Bolsin