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Poems

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notes

Cohen, L. (2019). Poems. In Cohen, L. The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings. Picador USA, pp. 1-4

23

JAN 15, 2007   SICILY CAFÉ

And now that I kneel
At the edge of my years
Let me fall through the mirror of love

And the things that I know
Let them drift like the snow
Let me dwell in the light that’s above

In the radiant light
Where there’s day and there’s night
And truth is the widest embrace

That includes what is lost
Includes what is found
What you write and what you erase

And when will my heart break open
When will my love be born
In this scheme of unspeakable suffering
Where even the blueprint is torn

—p.23 by Leonard Cohen 9 months ago

JAN 15, 2007   SICILY CAFÉ

And now that I kneel
At the edge of my years
Let me fall through the mirror of love

And the things that I know
Let them drift like the snow
Let me dwell in the light that’s above

In the radiant light
Where there’s day and there’s night
And truth is the widest embrace

That includes what is lost
Includes what is found
What you write and what you erase

And when will my heart break open
When will my love be born
In this scheme of unspeakable suffering
Where even the blueprint is torn

—p.23 by Leonard Cohen 9 months ago
44

THE INDIAN GIRL

You’re waiting. You’ve always been waiting. It’s nothing new. You’ve waited whenever you wanted anything, and you were waiting when the kettle sang to the canary and the Indian girl let you make love to her secretly before she died in a car accident. You were waiting for your wife to become sweet, you were waiting for your body to become thin and muscular, and the girl from India, in her apartment on Mackay Street, she said, Leonard, you’ve been waiting for me all afternoon, especially when we were all listening to the canary in your wife’s kitchen, that’s when it really got to you, the three of us standing in front of the cage, the kettle whistling and our great expectations for the canary, the song that was going to lift the three of us out of the afternoon, out of the winter—that’s when the waiting was too much for you, that’s when I understood how deeply and impersonally you desired me, and that’s when I decided to invite you into my arms. Supposing she said this to herself. And then I drove her home and she invited me up to her apartment and she did not resist my profound impersonal affection for her dark unknown person, and she saw how general, how neutral, how relentlessly impersonal was this man’s aching for her—and she took me to the green Salvation Army couch, among the student furniture, she took me because she was going to die in two weeks in a car accident on the Laurentian highway, she took me in one of her last embraces, because she saw how simple I would be to comfort, and I was so grateful to be numbered among her last generous activities on this earth. And I went back to my wife, my young wife, the one who would never thaw, who would bear me children, who would hate me for one good reason or another all the days of her life, who would know a couple of my friends a little too well. We stood, the three of us, listening to the duet of the canary and the kettle, the steam clouding the windows of our kitchen on Esplanade, and the Montreal winter shutting everything down but the heart of hope. Mara was her name, and she came to visit us, as we made visits in those days, driving through the snow to meet someone new.

1980

—p.44 by Leonard Cohen 9 months ago

THE INDIAN GIRL

You’re waiting. You’ve always been waiting. It’s nothing new. You’ve waited whenever you wanted anything, and you were waiting when the kettle sang to the canary and the Indian girl let you make love to her secretly before she died in a car accident. You were waiting for your wife to become sweet, you were waiting for your body to become thin and muscular, and the girl from India, in her apartment on Mackay Street, she said, Leonard, you’ve been waiting for me all afternoon, especially when we were all listening to the canary in your wife’s kitchen, that’s when it really got to you, the three of us standing in front of the cage, the kettle whistling and our great expectations for the canary, the song that was going to lift the three of us out of the afternoon, out of the winter—that’s when the waiting was too much for you, that’s when I understood how deeply and impersonally you desired me, and that’s when I decided to invite you into my arms. Supposing she said this to herself. And then I drove her home and she invited me up to her apartment and she did not resist my profound impersonal affection for her dark unknown person, and she saw how general, how neutral, how relentlessly impersonal was this man’s aching for her—and she took me to the green Salvation Army couch, among the student furniture, she took me because she was going to die in two weeks in a car accident on the Laurentian highway, she took me in one of her last embraces, because she saw how simple I would be to comfort, and I was so grateful to be numbered among her last generous activities on this earth. And I went back to my wife, my young wife, the one who would never thaw, who would bear me children, who would hate me for one good reason or another all the days of her life, who would know a couple of my friends a little too well. We stood, the three of us, listening to the duet of the canary and the kettle, the steam clouding the windows of our kitchen on Esplanade, and the Montreal winter shutting everything down but the heart of hope. Mara was her name, and she came to visit us, as we made visits in those days, driving through the snow to meet someone new.

1980

—p.44 by Leonard Cohen 9 months ago
64

I used to keep a full picture of her
Hidden on my laptop
Then I thought:
I can’t do this again
And I dragged it (reluctantly)
To the little trash basket
Which I did not empty for quite a while

from 'elevator mirrors'

little vignette in pano?

—p.64 by Leonard Cohen 9 months ago

I used to keep a full picture of her
Hidden on my laptop
Then I thought:
I can’t do this again
And I dragged it (reluctantly)
To the little trash basket
Which I did not empty for quite a while

from 'elevator mirrors'

little vignette in pano?

—p.64 by Leonard Cohen 9 months ago