Sunday, 19 October 2008

A Thousand Kisses Deep - re-post

I posted this back in May, but it's back by request. I've put the video at the top, this time; just to be different!




I like the way this has been done. And, coincidence or not, I think the last Dali in the series, "The Persistence of Memory," is particularly poignant. There's something elegant in Cohen's words that it's probably not worth defining. Anyway, I like this poem [because it was a poem, before it was a song, as with most of Cohen's work, I think], with its hat tip to Robert Frost.


1. You came to me this morning
And you handled me like meat.
You´d have to live alone to know
How good that feels, how sweet.
My mirror twin, my next of kin,
I´d know you in my sleep.
And who but you would take me in
A thousand kisses deep?

2. I loved you when you opened
Like a lily to the heat.
I´m just another snowman
Standing in the rain and sleet,
Who loved you with his frozen love
His second-hand physique -
With all he is, and all he was
A thousand kisses deep.

3. All soaked in sex, and pressed against
The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
We made it to the forward deck
I blessed our remnant fleet -
And then consented to be wrecked
A thousand kisses deep.

4. I know you had to lie to me,
I know you had to cheat.
But the Means no longer guarantee
The Virtue in Deceit.
That truth is bent, that beauty spent,
That style is obsolete -
Ever since the Holy Spirit went
A thousand kisses deep.

5. (So what about this Inner Light
That´s boundless and unique?
I´m slouching through another night
A thousand kisses deep.)

6. I´m turning tricks; I´m getting fixed,
I´m back on Boogie Street.
I tried to quit the business -
Hey, I´m lazy and I´m weak.
But sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go
A thousand kisses deep.

7. (And fragrant is the thought of you,
The file on you complete -
Except what we forgot to do
A thousand kisses deep.)

8. The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it´s done -
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it´s real
A thousand kisses deep.

9. (I jammed with Diz and Dante -
I did not have their sweep -
But once or twice, they let me play
A thousand kisses deep.)

10. And I´m still working with the wine,
Still dancing cheek to cheek.
The band is playing "Auld Lang Syne" -
The heart will not retreat.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep -
You ditch it all to stay alive
A thousand kisses deep.

11. And now you are the Angel Death
And now the Paraclete;
And now you are the Savior's Breath
And now the Belsen heap.
No turning from the threat of love,
No transcendental leap -
As witnessed here in time and blood
A thousand kisses deep.

(Source: The Leonard Cohen Files)

9 comments:

susan said...

Oh wow.

My favorite Cohen piece is alleluia. It's nice to find another piece by him I can listen to over and over again and not get sick of it.

Thank you for posting this Matt!

Stephany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Radagast said...

susan, stephany: Leonard Cohen is more god than man, as far as I'm concerned! I recommend "Dear Heather," (Columbia, 2004). There's a whole bunch of stuff on there that strikes me as exceptional - "The Letters," "Villanelle for our Times," "There for you," and "To a Teacher," to name four. Actually, I've just done a quick search on YouTube, and somebody, possibly the same guy, has put together another montage of Picasso's work, with To a Teacher as the accompaniment.

Matt

Stan said...

Dear Matt:

What can I say! Groovy Baby!! Great music and great lyrics! That adds up to wonderful listening pleasure and a worthy repost! Hope things are going well with you in that Groundhog Day world of yours.

You’re Bloggery Friend,
Stan

Radagast said...

stan: He's actually the reason I learned to play guitar: I wanted to play endless Cohen songs! Trouble is, he can play flamenco, and all sorts of shit, which is just way out of my league, particularly given that I never practice!

Anyway, Groundhog Day's good: my kids provide just enough evidence that the days are turning, by dint of the fact that the homework they ask for help with appears to be different, each time!

Matt

Stan said...

A Hoy mate:

How are you doing Matt? We are always waiting with baited breathless anticipation for your next post. So let's go bucko!

You’re Bloggery Friend,
Stan

Radagast said...

stan: Likewise, me old mucker. Like I wrote, back in August, though: this blog has probably served its therapeutic purpose, and keeping it going is more of an afterthought than anything else, these days.

Matt

Ana said...

Thank you for this Matt.
I like Cohen and didn't know this piece.
I'm not very fond of Dali but I like the picture - the last one - from The Persistence of Memory series.

Herrad said...

Hi Matt
Good post, came by to say hello and wish you a good Halloween weekend.
Love,
Herrad