“No drinks today, guys. Today we’ll spend quietly, remembering a great man and one of the world’s foremost poets. We’ll listen to music and wonder about his words. And then we’ll go home, thinking we might – just might – be a little wiser.” Boggel speaks slowly while he rubs the glass rings from the counter. The news of Cohen’s death shocked him: he has always admired the words and music of the remarkable musician, writer and poet.
“Yes. He had a way of looking at life in a completely unique way – yet made it sound so…ordinary. As if we should all have seen it his way right from the start.” Gertruida sighs and then recites:
‘I met a girl and a poet.
One of them was dead
and one of them was alive.
The poet was from Peru
and the girl was a doctor.
She was taking antibiotics.
I will never forget her.’
“Welll…” Precilla hesitates, blushing at the thought. “I thought some of his poems were rather sexy. Even raunchy. I would have loved to have met him as a young man…”
‘There is no flesh so perfect
As on my lady’s bone,
And yet it seems so distant
When I am all alone:
As though she were a masterpiece
In some castled town,
That pilgrims come to visit
And priests to copy down.’
“Oh, that song ‘Suzanne’!” Vetfaan smiles sadly. “When I was much younger, it swept me along in his fantasy.”
‘And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.’
“I like his recent work more.” Boggel gets out the keys to lock up the doors. In the background, a CD emphasises his statement:
‘There’s a lover in the story
But the story’s still the same
There’s a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it’s written in the scriptures
And it’s not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame.’
The key turns; the ancient lock crunching closed over the accumulated dust. All that remains in Boggel’s Place today, is the echo of Cohen’s words:
and a deeper silence
when the crickets