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Friday, July 19, 2013

Featured Writer, July 2013, Leonard Cohen

The following passages are poetry excerpts from Leonard Cohen's Book "The Energy Of Slaves" published in 1972. Excellent Read! To understand some of these writings, it is helpful to peer into his life at the time of publication...climbing the ladder of commercial success with his music, questioning the validity of the music industry, questioning his own place within that business, questioning the onslaught of friends, fame and fortune, (the latter two which he despised in many ways) and becoming a new father when domestic life was certainly a suffocation for him.
To top his emotional state, he toured heavily throughout Europe and North America, fuelled by Mandrax and LSD. He also felt that his recorded work should remain only in recordings, and initially only toured at the behest of his record label. Leonard, at one time believed that replaying the music in a live format turned the songs into a mere commercialized effort, thus betraying the purity of his songs.
That said, Cohen has secured legions of devotees, especially in Europe, and has ever been filled with gratitude for his audiences. He has even taken his touring into mental hospitals, as to connect with all facets of society, especially those who had minimal privilege.
From the 1970s era was distilled "The Energy of Slaves", he himself feeling like a slave to the music industry, and others, slaves to money, power and fame.
Leonard is a true artist; honest, eloquent, often brutally frank and deeply concerned about the integrity of his life's work. 
Thank you, Mr. Cohen!

*most of the poems in the book were left untitled, and as such, I have simply inserted the word "poem" to divide the writings

    *I have searched in vain for this book, and only a borrowed copy was afforded me. I do believe it is out of print. I strongly encourage readers however, to purchase books whenever possible, whether digital or print, and support their creators!


Poem...

I know there's no such thing
as hell or heaven
I know it's 1967
but are you sleeping have you slept
with any of my friends
It's not just something I want to know
it's the only thing I want to know
not about the mystery of God
not about myself
and am I the beautiful one
The only wisdom I want to have
is to know if I am
or if I am not alone in your love

Poem...
I left a woman waiting
I met her sometime later
she said, Your eyes are dead
What happened to you, lover
And since she spoke the truth to me
I tried to answer truly
Whatever happened to my eyes
happened to your beauty
O go to sleep my faithful wife
I told her rather cruelly
Whatever happened to my eyes
Happened to your beauty

Poem...
I walk through the old yellow sunlight
to get to my kitchen table
the poem about me
lying there with the books
in which I am listed
among the dead and future Dylans
You can understand
I am in no hurry to make the passage
The sunlight is old and yellow
a flood of what I laboured
to distill a tiny drop of
in that shabby little laboratory
called my talent
I stand here dreaming in my sweat
(you would fall in love with me again)
dreaming of a tie a shirt
a white suit a life
a new life in a warm city
far from the envious practice
of written speech
O look what the summer
has done to the daisies in my yard
Their skeletons must look like scrap and junk
to many lovers of the cabbage
(and to be perfectly fair
even to many lovers of the daisy)

Poem...
You are almost always with someone else
I'm going to burn down your house
and fuck you in the ass
If you have the presence of mind
to look over your shoulder
you'll see me swooning
Why don't you come over to my table
with no pants on
I'm sick of surprising you.




FIRST PUBLISHED 1972
© 1972 BY LEONARD COHEN
JONATHAN CAPE LTD, 30 BEDFORD SQUARE, LONDON WCI
ISBN Hardback 0 224 00787 4
Paperback 0 224 00817 X
PRINTED AND BOUND IN GREAT BRITAIN
BY RICHARD CLAY (THE CHAUCER PRESS) LTD
BUNGAY, SUFFOLK
PAPER MADE BY JOHN DICKINSON & CO. LTD

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