Another snowman standing in the sleet

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Leonard Cohen – Recitation

“I stopped wearing my wedding ring,” he said. “At work, I mean.”

She continued pouring milk out of a chilled glass pitcher – steadily, measuredly, full to the brim.

“I know,” she said, and sat down, her wooden chair creaking. He raised an eyebrow. “The tan,” she explained.


He tucked his napkin under his collar and cut into the roast. “I just thought you should know is all.”

She smelled earthy, like freshly baked bread, as she walked – back straight, posture perfect – past him to the bathroom. She locked the door.

Leonard Cohen – If It Be Your Will

Leonard Cohen, more than any other songwriter in the past century or so, creates music that sounds sacred. Like he picked right up from the hymns, like the church’s recent flitting with obscene and obscenely unoriginal pop music never happened. Like when his aging fingertips – withering but still gentle, lythe – touch the taut guitar strings, the only possible response is supplication, sanctification.

I’d go to that church, you know. Cohen up on stage, his body stiffened by approaching rigor mortis, but still trim in a suit. An angelic chorus supplementing him from behind the pews, up in the balcony. L. Cohen certainly wouldn’t tell me to switch my phone to silent, laughing nasally because the comparison of the vulgar cinema and the consecration of church makes him slightly uncomfortable. He would never tell me to close my eyes, to open up my “heart of hearts.” No, he’d just close his own eyes. (It’s hard to imagine cellular telephones and Leonard Cohen coexisting in one world.) He’d sing in that earth-rumblingly deep voice, each bass note veined with experience and humility.

Instead of holding our hands aloft and swaying, we’d silently bow our heads and mutter prayers into our collars. [Live In London.]

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