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New Yorker Publishes Leonard Cohen's "Drank A Lot"

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Just prior to his birthday, which would've made him 84, The New Yorker published a poem of Cohen's, preceding the release of a collection of his work titled The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings by Leonard Cohen

i drank a lot. i lost my job.
i lived like nothing mattered.
then you stopped, and came across
my little bridge of fallen answers.

i don’t recall what happened next.
i kept you at a distance.
but tangled in the knot of sex
my punishment was lifted.

and lifted on a single breath—
no coming and no going—
o G-d, you are the only friend
i never thought of knowing.

your remedies beneath my hand
your fingers in my hair
the kisses on our lips began
that ended everywhere.

and now our sins are all confessed
our strategies forgiven
it’s written that the law must rest
before the law is written.

and not because of what i’d lost
and not for what i’d mastered
you stopped for me, and came across
the bridge of fallen answers.

tho’ mercy has no point of view
and no one’s here to suffer
we cry aloud, as humans do:
we cry to one another.

And now it’s one, and now it’s two,
And now the whole disaster.
We cry for help, as humans do—
Before the truth, and after.

And Every Guiding Light Was Gone
And Every Teacher Lying—
There Was No Truth In Moving On—
There Was No Truth In Dying.

And Then The Night Commanded Me
To Enter In Her Side—
And Be As Adam Was To Eve
Before The Great Divide.

her remedies beneath my hand
her fingers in my hair—
and every mouth of hunger glad—
and deeply unaware.

and here i cannot lift a hand
to trace the lines of beauty,
but lines are traced, and beauty’s glad
to come and go so freely.

and from the wall a grazing wind,
weightless and routine—
it wounds us as i part your lips
it wounds us in between.

and every guiding light was gone
and every sweet direction—
the book of love i read was wrong
it had a happy ending.

And Now There Is No Point Of View—
And Now There Is No Other—
We Spread And Drown As Lilies Do—
We Spread And Drown Forever.

You are my tongue, you are my eye,
My coming and my going.
O G-d, you let your sailor die
So he could be the ocean.

And when I’m at my hungriest
She takes away my tongue
And holds me here where hungers rest
Before the world is born.

And fastened here we cannot move
We cannot move forever
We spread and drown as lilies do—
From nowhere to the center.

Escaping through a secret gate
I made it to the border
And call it luck—or call it fate—
I left my house in order.

And now there is no point of view—
And now there is no other—
We spread and drown as lilies do—
We spread and drown forever.

Disguised as one who lived in peace
I made it to the border
Though every atom of my heart
Was burning with desire.


As a personal side note, I'd like to wish that old dead Cohen, who was especially formative for me, and helped me to carry certain grief bravely through life, a joyful birthday this Friday.

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