daily preciousness

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Coffee with Morgenstern

Boy, there's nothing like a little Chet Baker in the morning for that old time wrist-slashing sensation. No. It's a sunny, cheerful day. And I recently re-discovered Misha's, a trendy indie coffee shop on just off the corner of Patrick and King. I've just devoured a moist, dreamy little pumpkin muffin and downed half of my exceedingly well-brewed cafe au lait.

This is a hopping place. I had no idea how loud or busy it would be. It's got Cosi beat for morning traffic. It doesn't do so well in the evening, though. That's too bad, since they have much better coffee. Chet's singing "Someone to watch over me" now. It's too sweet. This song really suits his voice and instrument well. So sweet. So rich. So brimming with history and sex. It reminds me of that song of the gallows birds:

How strange is life! How full of dread!

Here we all dangle from red thread.

Toad croaks and spider spins her lair,

The wind blows slantwise through our hair.

O horror, horror, horror howl!

"You are accursed!" cries the owl.

The starlight's broken by the moon,

but you will not be broken soon.

O horror, horror, horror cry!

The silver horses gallop by,

the owl hoots twice: tu-whit, tu-whoo!

It chews and brews and blues for you!

Okay, it doesn't remind me of that poem. But it seemed a shame not to include it. It's from a book I just got -- lullabies, lyrics and gallows songs by German lyrical/absurdist poet, Christian Morgenstern.

It's so odd how quickly the hours steal away so quickly in this atmosphere. In the laughing, steaming, shwishing, slamming, jazzing atmosphere of a loud coffee shop. It seems like I walk in, start to read the paper for a while, look at my watch and realize that two hours have gone by. Wild. I have to be leaving in about an hour. (Of course, I'd much rather believe in half an hour. But that's neither here nor there.)

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