Jan 15 17 - a tribute to my first mentor
I am overjoyed to have started the course with L. Cohen’s poetry. It felt like the right springboard because of my personal connection to his music. I was, at the time of experiencing Cohen’s music for the first time, in a perpetual gloom. I still am, and perhaps that is why his poetry speaks volumes to me now, after years of giving them my audience. I still remember the first song I heard by him: Famous Blue Raincoat. It was haunting, surreal, and tinged with some kind of delusional brooding, and I feasted on it hour after hour. Along with Dress Rehearsal Rag, it went that way for months. There was something satisfying about his music and lyrics that spoke to me, and now that I am better able to judge my old habits in comparison to the new, with the help of this course, I know now what it was that moved me so deeply.
L. Cohen’s poems and songs tend to deal with some major tensions. On the one hand, the speakers seem to be stuck trying to unravel their own minds frazzled with thoughts of their alienation from anything. Most of the time it seems to be a kind of alienation from a lover, and maybe that’s why I relate so much. I had a falling out with a girl named Erica. She was stunning. She was the first person to show me what euphoria meant…like an actual elation and alleviation, not like a stroll through the forest with bitter thoughts in mind. But maybe it was a façade I had danced with, because we, simply put, went in different directions in life. And the other element of Cohen’s poetry that speaks to me are the tensions between wanting to experience elation again, whether it be explicitly stated or merely implied through the depression or bitterness in the speakers. It’s absurd and loft and honestly raw. I feel I should explore these connections more soon.
to those who sleep
everyone seems to do as much as possible
to avoid that which makes them feel bad
at the end of the day
all that matters is if you can fall asleep at night
and rest assured you were not all that terrible
and everything is not so bad