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Daily Archive for Thursday, October 27th, 2005


So i get this email from my old friend, Matt Horan, who practices Law in Arkansas.

Last night I had a blinding revelation. I wish I’d thought of it thirty years ago. I would like it cut into stone and set somewhere on the law school campus.
I will defend a dishonest man against an honest man.
I will defend an honest man against a dishonest man.
But I will not defend a dishonest man against a dishonest man.

to which i replied, “why not?”

to which Matt replied:
Experience. Such cases take 70% more time and you end up not being paid because the dishonest men who was in bed together, and then had a falling out, and got all lawyered up, decide that they really don’t need to be paying their lawyers, and get back in bed together to screw the public. Then dishonest person A tells dishonest person B that his lawyer was all jakeleg and failed to plead accord and satisfaction, so dishonest person B uses that as an excuse not to pay his lawyer, and dishonest person B, to return the favor, tells dishonest person A that his lawyer failed to seek relief in quantum meruit, which was a slam dunk, and the only thing his jakeleg lawyer was really worried about, and dishonest person A uses that as an excuse not to pay his lawyer.

I say: when two dishonest men get to squabbling, let em fight it out The Old Fashioned Way. Do the gene pool a favor.

Yesterday, I was browsing the used book store and came across a book of Arabian Love Poems by Nazir Kabbani. Cool stuff. He’s an octogenarian leftist who likes to f*** women, and how he has ever escaped execution, I do not know. Some of his stuff reminds me of Ferlinghetti. I am going to have to investigate him further. He wrote one poem where he compared his love for a woman to a white horse. I am saying: waaaaaiiiiit a minute, what’s this white horse bidness with these dam Ay-rabs?!? The poem concludes, however, with these lines, which I like

If you knew the yearnings of horses

You would fill my mouth

With cherries, almonds, pistachios.

To which i replied: “Hope you don’t mind. i posted you on my blog. Such wisdom should be passed on by a Law prof.”

to which Matt replied:
I don’t mind, but still I think it needs to be cut into stone and set on the campus. See, there’s gonna be this nuclear flash one of these days, and the electromagnetic pulse of it is gonna junk the internet, the blogosphere, in fact, we will all go back to slide rules, which suits the crap outa me, since I do all my ciphering in my head anyhow, and get prettier numbers, at least, than the ones I get on my calculator, so called.

But I was saying: it needs to be in stone. It needs to slow folks down on their hurry hurry from the Hark to Austin Hall.

Cuttin’ stuff into stone is my new art form. I have developed this property and I have spent a lot of money gussying up a detention basin that collects rainfall before sending it downstream where it can’t be handled in a gulp. Well, it looked awful, so I set a stonesetter to rocking the sides of it. Then I looked at the hill above it, and I thought “wow, let’s make it look like the 13th at Augusta.” And then I thought, instead of azalea, cherry trees, dogwoods, redbud. Now, I am going to get A.E. Housman’s poem “Loveliest of Trees” cut into several stones, and am going to set it, piece by piece, into the hillside, among the cherry and the dogwood, and the redbud and the crepe myrtle and the forsythia and the sugar maple and the sumac and the….

But I am just starting.

I said, this place needs a Celtic Cross! So I have commissioned a local artist to make me one, and then, because I am so antic, I will have him inscribe, in Latin, “On a hill far away, stands an old, rugged cross,” which is the ARCHETYPAL Protestant Hymn, and I am going to laugh, laugh, laugh for the rest of my days as the two sides struggle over the text and just don’t get the joke, if it is a joke.

I am also going to salt other bits of poems into the ground in the development where walkers can see them…”Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost, a stanza from Keats’ “St. Agnes Eve,” a line from a Billie Joe Shaver song I greatly admire “Swarm in a loose herd, like the wild buffalo.” A line written by a dead friend of mine: “The end of style for honest men is clarity.” A stanza from Dylan Thomas’s “Poem in October,” which talks about mothers walking their children, which I hope will happen.

See, cutting things into stone is one big momento mori. I thought to myself, what are they gonna cut into my stone: “He helped white folks argue about money?” And I decided that what I wanted it to say was something like “He cut other folks words into rock so you, pilgrim, might stop thinking about money so much.”

Anyhow, the development is going great guns, and I am not using realtors to sell it which pisses them off. I tell them they should be happy because the people who are buying from me are going to be selling big-ass houses, and they will get the commission offa that, but they don’t see it that way. Because I am saving the realtors’ commission, what I do is, I get a price with my buyer, and we spit on our palms and shake on the deal. Then I give them a contract with a lower price, and I ask them to make a donation to local schools with the difference. They’re on their honor. I think of it as force multiplying. So far, I’m told that a local Catholic school that is on hard times and schools a lot of poor immigrant kids got $20,000, and that a program that trains poor folks for jobs got $4500, and a nursing program got $6000, and it just kinda rolls from there. I think it will be interesting to see just what develops out of this, probably nothing, but maybe, maybe, maybe something.