In response to “Seems So Long Ago, Nancy” by Leonard Cohen
The Parallels began when she was born in the House of Mystery.
Just like our Nancy dear, back in 1961. Which was very long ago.
Freedom left her bones, with the quickest slice of a razorblade.
I believe she cried to herself, while sitting on the opal stone.
Wishing she was forever, or forever in someone’s heart.
She had been waiting for the necromancer, to put a spell on her ideal imagery.
When the parties began at night, by morning guilt had overcome.
Strangers would become forgotten, and her anger would build the mirror.
The prescription for her pain, was castaway in the pebbles of mysteries.
And medicine to distort her beauty, and mind-bending remedies to blush away her gems.
There are clouds looming over the big-top, does your circus dare?
Maybe not in danger, the world is just an Emerald Green. The clock burns another tick-tock.
Born in ’81. Though retro in her fame.
She’d dress like Edie Sedgwick and Natalie Wood sharing the same brain.
The hoodwinks would use her, they’d mind read her away from her pearls and jewels.
The prosaic alleyways would rob her of her strut, and she would be left in the palms of her hands.
Planning suicides in privacy. Planning suicides in the shores of a billiards room.
Planning suicides outside of gentlemen’s clubs, or a bastard’s hideaway.
A tiny spider hiding in a web spun a million miles, hoping to never face the shame.
The viral night ripe to the taboo thoughts. That suicide was the light on a beaming beach.
From the numbness in her feet, to the fingers, to the bosom, to the neck.
From the mouth to the deadening eyes, to the mind with freedom on the brink.
She was a Capricorn. She was inside the constellation, in prayer that night.
Her labor was trying to find faith through long pages of a dusty diary. As songs begin to outro.
Surviving another day. At peace for a moment in tears staring at a cupid-arrow weathervane.
For a while feeling the stress strip away her identity. Sitting in her mystery.
In the welcoming arms of the Noctilucent clouds of the Baltic Sea.
Calling out to Geneva from the salons to the brawn of a whipping post.
The evening begins to creep in with many masks to beset her surface.
Lacerating herself over the waters, ocean sips back into the vacuums in her house of mystery.
In 1961…In 1961
To now. In a new twilight. We still fade away. To a hideaway. That we only know of.
Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey WrenHard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!Bare Bones Writings Issue 1 is out on Paperback and Kindle
The juveniles gathered around your blinds
They studied your silhouette to memory
Dancing like Ann-Margret around the room
The candles burning around a 1985 waterbed.
On New York city nights
one of the college boys in the alley
Looking for a clue and a view
You'd walk out slightly drunk,
smiling at crowds of boys
with eyes that were up to no good.
Riding a green bicycle to the Jackson Hole
your scent of sweet cigarette smoke and perfume,
leads the path to a perfect follow
Maybe I will come down and have a drink
While you chat about the news to some hipster folks
I see you flirting with them all.
Everyone laughs until we bruise
my heart just jumps like a petrified fish.
I have to walk by and say a hello
Although, there were more handsome faces in the shadows.
I hope to at least be more hypnotic than the stained spoons -
in this diner.
You say "I am Tessa, but I believe you already know that"
I introduced myself, she said "I've always liked your artsy hat"
We drank coffee 'til our stomachs bled.
And I was as shy as a detached bubble.
You carried the conversations, lead my hand
Picking flowers out of the cracked sidewalks near Brooklyn
Lead my hand, as we joined silhouettes
As the other jealous hustlers sat in the rain.
Lead my hand, through other diners with scent of burnt coffee.
Drinking our time away we would be catty, flirty & bitchy
Tessa, you really enhanced my greed and need
In nights I swayed with you
Nights we cried into each other's chest
Nights we drugged ourselves to nightmares
Nights we laughed until the extra strangers left
Now, in New York here I am
Long distances between the walks in all the boroughs
All the pigeons, drink at cold waters
the Statue of Liberty looks plagued.
Since my needs are old
When you lead my hand, to the bars
You lead my hand, by all the Harlem diamondbacks
You lead my hand, to you breathing your last breath -
on the back of my neck.
You lived your life for many,
but to yourself you hid away all your suicides.
Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren
Hard Rain Poetry Anthology U.S. Link https://tinyurl.com/2p938cy8
International links on this page. https://feversofthemind.com/2022/06/23/hard-rain-poetry-forever-dylan-anthology-available-today/Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.
remember reading about L. Cohen discussion of discipline
in his family before (leaving) his shoes neatly beneath the bed,
lined in rows the Westmount childhood house of his
Blossoms on the Plateau
scatter towards St. Laurent.
At a café, grab a late coffee, Mile End.
– Elated. Artwork to hang at Gallery ___ of
new punk energy competing with empty lots.
A poet encountered Cohen right near here chaotically sprawled
on a bench, static hat, shins crossed,
My father knew clothing, my father knew hats.
In every secret life,
Danceclatter spirit memories,
Reanimated, the dead no longer leave
Gather under pelican shaped eaves
Refugees – taking leave, returning quickly as they arrive–
By harbour, ships, disembarking planes
At official hearings destinies decided by immigration board
on appeal. O, Canada — We who betray everything
Searching landscapes beyond mythic voice,
first languages, anthologized wards
of mothertongue, come alive
to holy gathering, catchments of double-rainbows
above camera shop,
on The Main, to St. Catherine’s Street,
gauntlet to throw down bargaining for life
the Ascending of the
at the gated freight elevators
in a cessation of rain, orchestral loft curtains
and a cacophony of rattling glass
in choreographic time,
threaded hum of industrial needles, machines,
for fancy fabric, the manufacture of
ghost suits in factories.
Did the street lineaments of longing shape
an arc to the sun in melodic time,
Word became difference
– without a promised pound of flesh —
each visioning, wisteria proposing
darker awakening. To bow and Curtsy. The
– Oars of the St. Lawrence remaining as if
Hallucinatory – at a farther reach –
persuasive designs for some new disguise.
In rupture rapture————
the needle in thread, the lacuna.
Stitches of erasure,
(by attendant lay kept at bay)
a homonym in nominal space
When You Carry the Flag of Surrender
We aim for song.
Tilt to embrace.
First embouchure, embrace of red, then blue,
a burning white beneath the stair corrodes coruscating struts.
You waited to come back too long,
already threat gave you a name.
Beneath eyelids, the mourning bruised fifth notes.
Minor armies, advancing packs of card sharks,
upon arrival, slight a flock of black birds, ravens,
and your sister’s husband’s brutal conundrum commences.
It’s a war against nature.
We guessed wrong.
Planning for a siege at a craps table
along the loneliest strip
where hummingbirds dance a devious fandango,
on with nightclub nightmares.
You lifted up with urgency,
the urge, to surrender,
to carry the flag of surrender.
(And safely, the albatross of snow
glides ascending beyond Blake,
rising to the Gate of Hell
Wings shorn with fire).
The yellowing book, it’s pages.
If you are tired enough, you will fall asleep,
fall into the arms of a boulder,
spreading the night moth’s wings around you.
On the ocean, the burning partisan’s ship
sinks behind another neon moon.
Between the odd and even
I shall be a tailor, sewing pockets
with a wretched hand.
A corruption, failure
of the terms of service.
I gave them nothing, willingly,
I gave them nothing, undue dress.
A shaky signature, handshake
under duress, erasing
The Committee of Horsemen
and their capital wives
Flying to a ceremonial, under
cloak, the war’s convoy’s coverings
Blanket the skies with parachutes.
I shall be the uninvited guest,
these twisted hands trembling,
winter branches at calico windows,
Obscene broncho –
of obstreperous lineage.
Startling twilight of starlings.
The plane goes down
It goes down
It makes the sun
turn a pale green
a pale green
Packages of jealous
That know no limits
know no limits
In the charnel house
in the charnel house
Confusion of smoke
by the fairgrounds
All the kisses you can
punch for a dollar twenty
five don’t be shy step
Bop bop bopping
for the wormy wordy words
worthy apple of the jaundice
eye another round
of Government Propaganda
For the Shiny Happy People
Free line dances
for the people
By the acid river backside
pouring out toxic sludge
Captains of Productive
on sacred ground whose
ground sacred check
the grainy almanac
in the gun-sites of the
Military Industrial complex
We capture captions
speak in thought balloons
The gentlest Master
slips outside benign
speaking behind a billboard
for mouth wash
cattle in the fields, lowing
“It will rain soon,”
Mommy says to
her six year old in Khakis
amidst the smoke beneath
the chocking ruins -- rains
down historical memory
Insects rub their tentacled principal
legs together make the beat
of some new music written
by the Karaoke Moon
We can count
all of the ways
that what was once here
no longer is.
Using an app with magic markers
we make asemic marks
on photographic paper.
Is there hope of change?
Are we impassioned?
Poisoned? What lies beyond
belief is belief in
our own ability to change
out of clothing
make the New Man
fallible as Merchandise.
1985 (A Drum)
A Leonard Cohen concert
New York, Carnegie Hall,
At performance end, more people
than one might imagine prepare for Rapture.
From handbags & from under
winter coats they rush towards the stage.
A price of admittance.
Recognizable is ritual.
My old friend, with whom I attend,
I shall never see again, while,
Field Commander Cohen,
Working for the Yankee Dollar,
catching in light and furious, bouquets
of cornflowers and roses. The clarion call,
in spot lit time trumpet flowers
opening up pollen in a thousand-handed balcony.
Twitter: @frede_kenter @icefloe_P
Poems 2, 3 & 4 are inspired by Cohen’s poetry book “The Energy of Slaves”
Birds on a wire
gather like clouds before a storm,
like thoughts flocked together,
perched before they fly shadow-winged
toward the blazing sun
gilding the rooftops--and the fiddler—
with his burning violin,
sings the songs of stars—
the endless cycle of before
and after love and beauty, constants amidst the fleeting.
And so, we waltz, three-quarters beyond time,
pausing like birds, then soaring high again,
in rhythm, feeling the universe’s beat.
*Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and “Dance Me to the End of Time.”*
Star-dusted primordial seas birth dinosaurs,
who emerge to fly back toward the light.
From river shore, I watch them
in bobble-winged flight,
twinkling silver above the sapphire waves.
Now, there, in the crisscross currents,
the osprey sights a rainbow beneath the surface.
A dive and splash, his taloned toes grab
who only sees white wings,
the Angel of Death, carrying him home.
There’s a space in the tumble of a wave
just before it hits the sand,
when you can see the fold of time--a fraction of a second
that vanishes with the evanescent sparkle
of spindrift in the air,
a synaptic connection made and gone,
winged on white gull against grey-blue sky.
As a strand of seaweed twines around your ankle,
the moment passes,
and the next --
and you remember him,
and that space between heartbeats,
when you listened, waiting for the next one--
that never came.
Short bio: Merril D. Smith is a historian and poet. She is inspired by nature, particularly her walks along the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published recently in Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nightingale and Sparrow, and Fevers of the Mind.
https://www.merrildsmith.comA Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Merril D. SmithThe Wind Whispers Storms by Merril D. Smith (poetry from her webpage)3 poems from Merril D. Smith in Fevers of the Mind Poetry Press Presents the Poets of 2020