Strange Bedfellows [03]: Leonard Cohen on Centaur Street

Leonard Cohen on Centaur Street

It happened as if in a dream.
Leonard Cohen walked into my bedroom,
using my main window as if it were a door.
‘It’s not right that you be alone, poet,
it’s just not right. I’m here to bring you comfort,
and maybe even some delight. Do you know,
in the city of London, more men wear pink boxers
than any other city in Britain?
I have a bit of a surprise for you,
given I’m from Montreal.’
He slipped out of his jeans
to reveal a bright pink pair
of Lycra-cotton Armani boxers.
‘I thought you’d be a man
for the designer jocks alright, Lenny,’
was all I could think to say to him.

He crept into bed beside me
and lay his head upon my pillow.
‘Buddha sent me on a mission.
“Don’t let the poet’s be alone at night.
It is enough that beautiful words
escape the fault-line crack in their hearts.”’
He ran his fingers through my hair,
and put a finger to my lips. ‘Shssh.
Do you know, two people die, somewhere
on earth, every second? Which means,
for the five minutes we’ve been acquainted,
approximately six hundred people have died.
Ain’t that just too much sadness and loss,
man, to ever be lonely, to ever, ever, be lonely?’
He ran his hands along the hair
standing upright on my arms.
He touched my face, and
leaning in closer, landed
a sloppy wet kiss on my lips.

‘Let me take this longing from your tongue.
This longing has haunted your nights
and days, lying between the lines
of every poem conceived within your heart.
Buddha wishes you the best. He’s instructed me
to let you know—the man you’ve dreamed of
is on the way. I’m not him, but he is coming.
He’ll stop and have a look, as sure as
you have your longing, this poetry, your books!’


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