BOOK OF LONGING
(DEAR READER)




I cant make the hills
The system is shot
Im living on pills
for which I thank G-d

Theres sun in the leaves
and birds in the tree.
Nobody believes
its written by Thee.

I used to be song
I used to be cock
but time is long gone
past my laughingstock

I bid you good-bye
Theres nothing to add
Ive tried and I try
to stop going mad

I followed the course
from chaos to art
My dick was the horse
my life was the cart

Im back at my desk
(the end of the line)
a bee in my breast
a snake in my spine

The silverware shines
that my mother left
to me when she died
fulfilled and bereft

My leash is too long
I think that Im free
Id leap at the young
but Im sixty-three

I know what I want
It took many lives
Im cured by the cunt
Im killed by the eyes

The sorrows are real
as froth on the wave
as shit on the beach
the citys disgrace

Who cares what I say
Im not who I was
Im paid what I pay
Im always in love

The summer wont come
till I go to bed
The birds will return
when the dog is dead

You cant say it right
when you touch yourself
But truths not advice
It is total health

The crap on my back
the piss in my face
but happy at last
in the Holy Place

You cant go too deep
if you want to swim
where the mermaids weep
out of love for Him

I`m nothing but lust
Im nothing but pain
I did these mistrust
but Never Again

I say what I want
for I am the Child
of G-d coming home
and His Wife gone wild

I dont need a thing
I use what I have
a moth-eaten wing
a worm cut in half

With these I invoke
The Name to draw nigh
Im clamped in a stock
to hold my head high

My animal howls
My angels upset
And deep in my bowels
the shit of regret

You cant stop a man
from loving too much
Im still licking stamps
from trying it once

My pen is too wet
My ink is too black
The Winner wont get
his foot on the track

But the one like me
with light in her eye
is utterly free
to crawl or to fly

And shell know the path
I carved through the pain
my will cut in half
and Freedom between

Ill meet her one day
when the time is right
for me to display
my flare in the night

for the space in space
to cough up the Word
that seals our Embrace
unharmed and unheard

And Mercy at last
for one doubled up
and tied to the mast
with the flags of love

And thanks be to you
for helping me out
when Youth had no clue
whats it all about

Your kindness is kind
your trueness is true
I pray that youll find
your Beloved, too

as I have found mine
where Id never look:
in the threaded spine
of my Longing Book.

Los Angeles
March 22, 1998



Copyright © 1998 by Leonard Cohen. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



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