When I was introduced to Leonard Cohen’s poetry, I fell in love with how he used simplicity to create such intensity. His way of capturing the complexity of life and relationships through every day language in the form of poetry and song inspired me as a writer and an artist. Every time I read the poems “The Gift” and the lyrics to “Fingerprints”, the meaning would change to fit my current life situation. Here is a poem I wrote in my mid-twenties that captures my passion for Leonard Cohen’s art.
I fell asleep with you last night
My fingers leafed thru your hair
Words fell out like winter flakes
Invisibly drifting to the floor.
Those are the best kinds of words.
You spoke to me of gifts like that
And the fingerprints you were missing
That girl had a mission similar to air
Naturally existing with clear intent
Her thoughts of ransom you misunderstood.
I wondered if you possessed fangs in youth
Or did flowers lace the rim of your mind
There’s comfort in the truth you speak
I have met many copies of you in my life
Your version is much more compelling.
Sleep enters the room unannounced and leering
Change accompanies it with plans up its sleeve
You by my side with your masks put away
Crawl under my blankets to hide for a while
Ignoring them both until dawn.