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You said you didn't like
the song.
"It's for the religious."
But you missed the thankfulness
of longing, the shirt sleeve pulled
forward with *******, the killjoy
night ending
again
and
again, and a good
friend swallowing
hard, breathing
deep and accepting
endings, long drives,
and a fun house reflection
whispering
"Ha."
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2017
a birthday present for his admirer-in-chief, R.A.


http://hellopoetry.com/poem/1833523/for-leonard-cohen-who-by-fire/


http://hellopoetry.com/poem/1833538/for-leonard-cohen-the-musicians-minyan/


http://hellopoetry.com/poem/1844090/for-leonard-a-man-cleaning-up-after-himself/
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2016
A minyan is an assembly of ten Jews.  With ten present, the group can perform a fuller service, adding congregational prayers that an individual alone cannot say, and in heaven, received, as if from a 
more powerful, unified voice.

~~~
Satan laughing with delight at the happy news,
unusually proud of his soul-retrieving,
red state minions,
having scored late in the '16 season,
a long awaited prize,
a high priest of music, a hallelujah singer
just come  cross the borderline,
once a mere earth bound legend,
now to be mockingly enjoyed
in this, his legendary peculiar tier of heaven
~
a banner year it was, a cornucopia of new arrivals,
singers, songwriters, composers, conductors, rock 'n rollers,
itinerant blues musicians,
who as a rule, were not the most faithful observers
of the Ten Commandments and its host of detailed relatives
~
body and drug abusers,
of traditional morals, not such big users,
and as for their *** lives,
best not discussed in front of the baby devils,
just quite yet
~
all this made for easy "pluckings,"
as he smiled devilishly, his own ironic sense of humor,
an added delight for the new American Pie
that would forever serenade him henceforth
~
indeed this Leo-nine most new arrival,
intensifies the pleasure,
for deep in this one had waxed the god-spark,
his own fractured demise,
now allowing the cracks of light to be closing,
lessening by an immeasurable fraction
the despised joy to the world
-
then a raucous rustling heard,
a voice unseen but siren penetratingly heard proclaiming:

**** you Satan,
this time you've gone too far!

return unto me them all,
for you have overstepped the boundaries I have constructed
when birthed I the universe so long ago

these children, mine,
for though they were not perfect in their lives,
they perfected ever so much my designs,
the world I granted them,
with their music, voice and hands,
absolving them of all their sins

Surrender to me them all!

my Prince,
my lion, Cohen, high priest of my temple,
my haggard and worn Merle,
the greyed and Frey'd eagle, Glenn,
Natalie, daughter of the Earth King of Cole,
my rose of Sharon Jones,
my Emerson and my Lake,
Leon Russell,
my white bearded russet
who wrote 'A Song For You,'
the Duchess, Patty,
my Bobby Vee,
the first ro see
'the night has a thousand eyes,'
Frank Sinatra Jr., his fathers torch bearer,
my David, my right arm, my Bowie knife carrier,
who fell from heaven and needs returning unto me,
mine own Kanter, Jeffersonian pilot of my Airplane,
my Michael, George,
my Martin, George,
who never sang a word
but gifted us some Beatles,
My black and White Maurice,
who reignited the Earth, with Wind and Fire

all these mine and all the musicians of this year,
they have died, but not their music,
now to join my heavenly chorus,
my musicians' minyan
Second of a trilogy, but the first one posted,
about Leonard Cohen

Kohen or cohen (or kohain; Hebrew: כֹּהֵן‎, "priest", pl. כֹּהֲנִים‎ kohanim) is the Hebrew word for priest used colloquially in reference to the Aaronic priesthood. Jewish kohanim are traditionally believed and halakhically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the biblical Aaron. The term is colloquially used in Orthodox Judaism in reference to modern day descendants of Aharon, brother of Moses.

Among the few remaining responsibility of a cohen today is the chanting of the priestly  blessing in the synagogue on high holy days in a special tune, instantly recognizable  by every Jew.   When the  Jewish priest chants the blessing, the Spirit of God is presumed to become present in the synagogue, and all bow their heads, fathers cover their children's eyes, lest one witness  god's image. Ironically, the special way that a cohen extends his arms and holds his fingers in a V  shape, was borrowed by another Canadian Jew, Leonard Nimoy, as inspiration for Spock's  greeting.

see en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing

see
//jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/leonard-nimoy-vulcan-salute-yiddish
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2017
all I've learned from love


<•>

for the fedora man, 10/29/17 10:34am

<•>

another song done me wrong on a Sunday morn,
so much due to do, a list not for compilation/publication,
including poems promised and weighty deadlines overdue,
for its tedium would still be lbs. heavy in weightless space

instead a lyric plucks my attention, of course beeping,
insistent chirping a chorus of, write me right now,
immédiatement dans son français de Montréal,
this is the item that needs to be list topping,
now whispering a messenger-angel name dropping
a request formal from the fedora man dressed in black

all I've learned from love,  
a listing doomed to comprehensible incompletion,
a listing to the right as new reasons in-come
constantly from the left, each heart beat a
remarkable reminder that the list grows longer

every day, the repeating seasons, proffer suggestions,
disguised as a newly revised ten commandments,
obedience to which is a wish list for
attaining grace

all I've learned from love is its duality, essential quality,
a human single cannot attain the commingling required
for the visioning a peak season of life colorful,
its sad corollary, leaves falling exposing the body bare-****** of the soul linear alone

all I've learned from love is its shining skin is an agreed upon
indefinable nature, other than we all recognize how our
definition personal exists in that Ven diagrams space where
our circles intersect, when A breaks the skin of B, creating
{A,B}

all I've learned from love is without it no matter what
somewhere inside is a desperation pocket that is
an inquisitive irritant, a brain burr, a pea under the mattress,
a high and mighty 1% of disarmament incompetence that rules the imbalanced balance of my bottom line on the top of my head

all I've learned from love that it appears on its own timetable,
in surprising trains and planes and baseball games, sitting
alone in a theater or in front of a Rubens, on crazy disastrous
first dates in foreign countries at cafes or non gender
specific bathrooms amidst alternating currents of
this is crazy and this is infinite and ever so sobering
wondrous possible


all I've learned from love is it never shoots straight,
but will always end in a holy bullseye


*Tout ce que j'ai appris de l'amour, c'est qu'elle ne tire jamais directement,
mais se terminera toujours dans une sainte bullseye
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2017
Yom Kippur this year was celebrated on Oct. 12th 2016.
Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016.


~~~

faint knocking at the door to the Tower of Song

the ministering angels, hearing a rhythmic, lyrical rapping,
sigh, thinking the atonement day,
the holiday/holy days, are supposedly over,
the human balancing act, the rush to judgement period,
all tallies totaled, the busy sale season for souls,
at last completed, each fate inscribed & sealed,
in the book of life^

but, always one,
the itinerant straggler, the last reluctant sinner, a judgment resister,
flaunting an expired coupon, trumpeting demands for a recount,
waving it, claiming it, the bearer, entitled to a mercy discount and
an extra 30 days

"who shall we say is calling?"

the Angels are stunned to hear,
a familiar raspy, growling, almost indescribable,
yet, stammeringly, beautiful voice enchanting,
equally asking and answering,  how both,
with a strident humility, "a man in search of answers"

this voice, instantaneous recognizable,
the asking superfluous,
all beating wings now, all in vast excitement,
this psalmist, long awaited, one of His best,
a chosen one, a courtly singer in the Temple of his people,
blessed with the curse of seeing and believing,
the comprehension of beauty of the human superior interior,
never being quiet or quite satisfied,
in capturing, its multifarious variations,
in every language spoken

this is the man who took ten years
to compose just
one song,
one poem,
one word,
Hallelujah,
whose faith was strong,
but still needed proofs,
whose every breath of oxygen inhalation,
brought more questions,
every exhalation, only releasing partial answers,
and yet, still, yes, yes! finding hidden verses inside

a simple, everlasting
hallelujah

the hubbub subsides, the man sings~speaks:
how came I here,
was I one, who by fire?
that fire afeared,  that my finality was spirit consumer?

one voice, answers,
in one voice, the swaying back-up singers answer,
not by fire, not by water, not by stoning or
even drowning
in tea that came from all the way from China

when sing we Angels, the Judgement Day poem,
we alone, on high and above,
we, keepers of the books and records of everyone,
are permitted this to query:

Who by Sufficiency?

you, the sidekick of the creator,
special commissioned by him, anointed to live a life of research,
record in word and song the mysteries of musical gene strings,
that intertwine the skin cells of man and woman,
man and his fellow us-human,
your soul commandeered, ordered, delve deeper,
into the consolable chasm tween divine and mortals,
all those who are poorly constructed
in his image

he, who has earned his place, his best rest,
his works adjudged sufficient,
he, who best answered
this judging, this calling out, callig in
incantation,

Who by Sufficiency?

now forward on, write only of answers,
wade in the troubled waters no more,
no more passports, or borders to cross,
no more measuring the days,
the last road trip finale
finished & feted,
fate meted

no more changing thy name, changeling priest,^^
sing songs of solution, salvation,
for the questioning hours of confusion,
the urgency of revolution,
no longer need a hallelujah resolution


                                                    ­| | |
Who By Fire                             Who By Fire, Who By Water:^
(lyrics by Leonard Cohen)     (A Yom Kippur Hebrew Prayer)

who by fire                             How many shall die and      

who by water,                                how many shall born,
Who in the sunshine,                 Who shall live      
who in the night time,                   who shall die,                      
Who by high                                Who at the measure of days,
who by common trial,                    and who before,
Who in your merry                            
                                                          Who by fire
month of May,                                 and who by water
Who by very                                 Who by sword,
slow decay,                                       and who by wild beasts,
And who shall I                      Who by hunger,
say is calling?                              and who by thirst,

And who in her,                           Who by earthquake
lonely slip,                                         and who by plague
who by barbiturate,                      Who by strangling,
Who in these                                    and who by stoning
realms of love,                               Who shall have rest,

who by,                                             and who shall go wandering,
something blunt,                            Who will be tranquil,
And who by avalanche,                  and who shall be harassed,
who by powder,                            Who shall be at ease,
Who for his greed,                           and who shall be afflicted,
who for his hunger,                      Who shall become rich,
And who shall I,                             and who shall become poor,
say is calling?                                Who will be raised high,
                                                         ­     and who will be brought low
And who by brave assent,                  
who by accident,
Who in solitude,
who in this mirror,
Who by,
his lady's command,
who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains,
who in power,
And who shall I,
say is calling?




^From the liturgy of Rosh Hasanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the  Day of Atonement, there is this truly stunning prayer (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unetanneh_Tokef) in the Jewish liturgy. The Book of Life contents the fate of every sinner. From the first day of the new year, until ten days later, on Yom Kippur, depending on whether the sinner repents or not, his fate is sealed.
Yom Kippur this year was celebrated on Oct. 12th 2016.

Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016.

^^"A Kohens ancestors were priests in the Temple of Jerusalem. A single such priest was known as a Kohen, and the hereditary caste descending from these priests is collectively known as the Kohanim.[2] As multiple languages were acquired through the Jewish diaspora, the surname acquired many variations." Today, with no temple, the limited role of the Kohanim is to bless the Jewish people on the high holy days with a  special prayer with abeloved tune,  instantly evocative (see wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing) The Kohanim are still revered, honored, and always called up first to the Sabbath reading of the weekly portion of the Old Testament

A thank you to Bex for proofing and encouragement.
Part I of a trilogy
For a  more detailed analysis of the roots of the song, "Who By Fire," and its origins, see:
_____________________________________________
http://www.leonardcohen-prologues.com/who_by_fire.htm

He worked on the song Hallelujah, arguably his most famous composition, for ten years.
Jon-Paul Smith Aug 2018
Where have all the writers gone?
Where are all the poets?
Where is our Sandberg with his easy lines,
our Jeffers with his discontent,
our Frost playing tennis without a net
or with a net it doesn't matter?
Where is the greatness that defines us?
Where is our crying Ginsberg
our Bukowski with his rough blackbirds
and our Cohen of the Modern Miracle
(we're still waiting)?
Where is the voice of the internet age?
It'd better come soon.
Because it's lonely here with no one to read,
no modern sage to turn to
and I wonder how many people today
turn away from their windows
to their keyboards,
like me,
and type this in.
With all apologies to Leonard Cohen.
Joe Thompson Oct 2017
He had a voice like death on a ******.
We listened,
Our vision growing unexpectedly blurred
As he scribbled landscapes
On the window, and sang poetry he created by
Twisting  prayer around blasphemy
Around **** around yearning
With  notes whose colors  bled
One into the other
Into the other -

Beseeching, begging, demanding
The scars of our doubts
The armor of our pain.
And when, one day, he shattered the sun
Raining shards of gold flames like shrapnel
Down on the innocent and guilty alike,
We sat in our shiny new darkness
Singing hallelujah, hallelujah
Over and over again
Rocking back and forth
Clutching an old album cover
Like it was the relic of a saint.
The depth of his music was only a small glimpse of the depth of his spirit.
Conner Dixon May 2017
I'm in love

Haha i laugh

I'm in love

I feel so Spiritual

Haha i laugh
Go watch "Kings with straw mats" by Ira Cohen

https://youtu.be/xGvK_9ugecM
Nico Reznick Jan 2017
Hard frost and treacherous footing.
Nobody wanting to admit
that the new year
tastes an awful lot
like the old year.

None of our heroes
have been supernaturally resurrected.
There's the same
rank toxicity to our fears.
The jaunty carnival of ****** and maiming
continues unabated.
Death remains as senseless.
The corridors of power
are still slippery with slug trails and viscera,
and all the janitors have been
indefinitely furloughed.
It's cold, and
the bus is late again.

Still we persist in believing that
today will be different to yesterday,
that all those wrongs will be righted,
that the proper order - as we each individually, as
thin-skinned gods of our own personal
nuclear universes, perceive it -
will be perennially restored,
the buses will all
run on time,
and no one good
will ever die again.

But the truth is, this year
tastes an awful lot like
the old year.
I could be wrong, I guess.
Maybe everything will
turn out
fine.
r Jan 2017
She sang Hallelujah
I said Amen
sing it again
Sister
just like Leonard
in a voice
so light
and subtle
it could darken
dark eyes
and I will wear black
like a knight
who must compose
himself before day
breaks forever into
its weary fever.
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