Poetry inspired by Leonard Cohen (2019) How Leonard Cohen Kept Evading Me by Christina Strigas

from Christinastrigas.com
How Leonard Cohen Kept Evading Me

I almost saw him at the bar
in 1998, 1999, 2000;
every year with less hope
where he was known
to exist in a universe
of poetry, words, moods.

He had an artistic heart,
he could drink
like a twenty year old.
He loved feminine fabrics,
silk scarves, jasmine scents,
all the things your ex never liked.

These things reminded him of his
mother, but he kept that to himself.
He caressed women
without his hands, he used
a sheet of paper,
a pen,
his deep voice,
gentle song
the memory of Suzanne.

I danced with his words for decades
I must have not seen the blinds lifted
the darkness talking back at me.
Oh, yes - the hard cover
dark pastel women, four
of them, waiting for me
to read a hundred times to my kids
and ten times to myself. Turn
each page, languidly,
Ballerinas and Degas paintings
dance me to the end of love.

It is a shame, or sham, or same
only poets and stones can understand
each other. So quiet and content
with being alone in a crowd.

I feel blessed to step
where he walked and speak his
love language. English. -
Mostly English with a dab of franglais

mais je parle un peu en francais aussi
je t'aime

When I strolled in Outremont
near his house, I thought I
saw his ghost. My mouth
was a tree, my eyes the branches,
I re read a thousand kisses deep
to anyone who would listen

Why is it that the wrong people listen?

I became a kiss.

I almost went to his concert in 2001
but I gave birth
but I thought of the Montreal traffic
but I couldn't go
but-but---but---

I slept early. I was not supposed
to be so anxious about dead people.

I had my chance to walk around the
city to bump into him
to carry his book around -
ask him for an autograph
but he never, never replied.
He was too important for
a poet like me.

I went to the places they said
he would be. I missed him by
hours
or minutes
or lifetimes.
How the dead
whisper in coffins;
I cuddle up with his books
evoke the kisses
I regret not giving.

He's a dead poet now -
oh, how I long to be part
of that society.

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