Thursday, June 30, 2011
Pouring Out of the Radio. Pixilated Pearls of Wisdom from Leonard Cohen's Songs, Poetry
"I came upon a wedding that old families had contrived; Bethlehem the bridegroom, Babylon the bride."
"And why are you so quiet now standing in the doorway? You chose your journey long before you came upon this highway."
"I'm good at love, I’m good at hate, it's in between I freeze."
"Take this longing from my tongue/Whatever useless things these hands have done/Let me see your beauty broken down."
"But the river's in flood/And the roads are awash/And the bridges break up/In the panic of loss."
"And here is the dawn/Until death do us part/And here is your death in your daughters heart."
"I was good at taking out the garbage/Good at holding up the wall/Dealing with the fire and earthquake/But that don't count much at all."
"Yes, and here's to the few/Who forgive what you do/And the fewer who don't even care."
"May everyone live/And may everyone die/Hello, my love/And my love, goodbye."
"For what's left of our religion/I lift my voice and pray/May the lights in the land of plenty/Shine on the truth some day."
"No letters in the mailbox/No grapes upon the vine/There are no chocolates in the boxes anymore/There are no diamonds in the mine."
"So you moved away the mountain/That the sun rose behind/And you said yourself a prayer/And laid down with the blind."
"I know you need your sleep now/I know your life's been hard/But many men are falling where you promised to stand guard."
"Then read me the list of crimes that are mine/I will ask for the mercy you love to decline/A singer must die for the lie in his voice."
"I've heard the soul is diamond in the rough/That pain must polish it to a bright display/But mine is diamond dust that's blown away."
"Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin/Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in."
"It's hard to hold the hand of anyone who is reaching for the sky just to surrender."
"The stars have lost their fire/And the moon has lost her voice/And I'm coming back to find you/I have made the human choice."
"I came so far for beauty/I left so much behind/My patience and my family/My masterpiece unsigned."
"Don't drink from that cup, it's all cracked along the rim. That's not the electric light, my friend, that is your vision growing dim."
"I'm afraid that I've become/For nearly everyone/A model of behaviour/A devil or a saviour."
"Not steering by the venal chart/That tricked the mass for private gain/We rise to play a greater part/Reshaping narrow law and art."
"Morning came/And then came noon/Dinner time a scalpel blade lay beside my silver spoon."
"Now the deal has been dirty/Since dirty began/I'm not asking for mercy/Not from the man."
"As the mist leaves no scar/On the dark green hill/So my body leaves no scar/On you and never will."
"Now the courtroom is quiet, but who will confess? Is it true you betrayed us? The answer is Yes."
"One by the guests arrive/The guests are coming through/The broken-hearted many/The open-hearted few."
"Now if you can manage to get your trembling fingers to behave/Why don't you try unwrapping a stainless steel razor blade?"
"And sometimes when the night is slow/The wretched and the meek/We gather up our hearts and go/A thousand kisses deep."
"You lose your grip/And then you slip/Into the masterpiece."
"You are the woman with her legs apart/It's written on the walls of this hotel/You go to heaven once you've been to hell."
"I tried to leave you, I don't deny/ I closed the book on us, at least a hundred times."
"The river has started to freeze/I'm sick of pretending/I'm broken from bending/I've lived too long on my knees."
"Here comes your bride with her veil on/ Approach her, you wretch, if you dare."
"Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act."
"I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair/With a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere."
"From bitter searching of the heart, quickened with passion and pain, we rise to play a greater part."
“What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris?"
"History is a needle for putting men asleep/Anointed with the poison of all they want to keep."
"To those few high school girls who preferred my work to Dylan's, I leave my stone ear and my disposable Franciscan ambitions."
"I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel. That's all, I don't even think of you that often."
"I'm not asking for mercy/Not from the man/You just don't ask for mercy/While you're still on the stand."
"Now my heart's like a blister/From doing what I do/If the moon has a sister/It's got to be you."
"In dreams the truth is learned that all good works are done in the absence of a caress."
"I'm on the side that's always lost/Against the side of heaven/I'm on the side of Snake-eyes tossed/Against the side of seven."
"And they're handing down my sentence now/And I know what I must do/It's a hundred miles of silence/While I'm coming back to you."
"But I’m always alone/ And my heart is like ice/ And it’s crowded and cold/In My Secret Life."
"I bite my lip, I buy what I’m told: From the latest hit, to the wisdom of old."
"And the light came from her body/And the night went through her grace/All summer long she touched me/I knew her, I knew her/Face to face."
"I fought against the bottle - But I had to do it drunk. Took my diamond to the pawnshop - But that don't make it junk."
"Going to see my lawyer/ Going to read my mail/ Lost my voice in New York City/ Guess you always knew."
"If you want a boxer, I will step into the ring for you. If you want a doctor, I'll examine every inch of you."
"I have nothing against the Queen of England. Even in my heart I never resented her for not being Jackie Kennedy."
"O love, aren't you tired yet? A cross on every hill/A star, a minaret/ So many graves to fill/O love, aren't you tired yet?"
"I'd be caught in the grip of the undertow/Ditched on a beach/Where the sea hates to go/With a child in my arms/And a chill in my soul."
"The wars they will be fought again/The holy dove be caught again/Bought and sold and bought again/Until we set them free."
"For the millions in a prison that wealth has set apart, for the Christ who has not risen from the caverns of the heart."
"Don't really know who sent me to raise my voice and say: May the lights in the Land of Plenty shine on the truth some day."
"Put our your cigarette, my love/ You've been alone too long/ Some of us are very hungry now/ To hear what you've done that was so wrong."
"While I am on a pedestal/ You did not raise me there. Your laws do not compel me/ To kneel grotesque and bare."
"Nothing left to do when you know you've been taken, nothing left to do when you're begging for a crumb. Waiting for the miracle to come."
“Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”
"For you, I will be a ghetto jew/ and dance/ and put white stockings on my twisted limbs/ and poison the wells across town."
"Silence, and a deeper silence when the crickets hesitate."
"With Annie gone, whose eyes compare with the morning sun? Not that I did compare, but I do compare now that she's gone."
"Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute."
"And who in her lonely slip? Who by barbiturate? Who in these realms of love? Who by something blunt? Who by avalanche? Who by powder?"
"I don't consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin."
"Fare thee well my nightingale/ I lived but to be near you/Though you are singing somewhere still/ I can no longer hear you."
"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
“I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That's what sitting on your ass does to your face.”
"Yeah I missed you since the place got wrecked/By the winds of change and the weeds of sex/Looks like freedom but it feels like death."
“The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.”
"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. "