Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mother bid for me

.. fluatque
Lenis inoffenso vitaque
  morsque gradu.

.. and may
life and death glide gently
  on with unstumbling pace.

The commotion inevitably now
gathering about the disposal
of the estate of Paul Mellon's
widow is one which animates
wealth's fawning chronicles
almost as an instinctual day 
of obligation, in which many 
bow low to opportunity to at- 
test to their legitimacy.

As what, one has to wonder.
The late Mrs Mellon, already
so endlessly renewably able
to purchase things, before
so much as meeting Mr Mellon,
that her assumptions can be
said to have acquired only
a redundant layer of probity
in their union, is passing
in demise through that Sty-
gian mire in which our cul-
ture tugs against every pri-
vity of taste. I'd propose
it as obligatory also, to 
allow that passage a safe 
conduct against this tide.
If intimacy were good enough
at home, why not in memory;
but is it not the last stab
at scraps of provenance we
find at work, in these un-
anonymous reminiscences,
and flights of punctilious

There are no clean hands,
in the recirculation of ef-
fects. The desk at which
this blog has been written,
was purchased at auction of
Mrs Huntington's things, of
the Library of that name.
All over this world, are
children whose mother will
do the same as mine did, on-
ly to absorb, equivocally, 
a thing out of context. No
doubt, some will remember
where it once belonged. What
is as harrowingly false as
it is fashionable, is the
scaldingly adventitious in-
vasion in the winning bid,
as a lien upon the life.

I tumbled down the lawns
in California where the
Huntingtons' art is kept, 
I even rinsed with Bunny's
Listerine. I don't want
her things, I don't care
why she had them, I don't
believe that it matters,
not that it doesn't steep
them in collectible grace.
I do believe in lenity,
anent a person absent now, 
in peace. 

Samuel Johnson
Verses on the Death
  of his Mother
The Complete English Poems
J.D. Fleeman, editor
Yale University Press, 1982©

Paul Caponigro
Running White Deer
  County Wicklow

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