Leonard Cohen…R.I.P.

There’s not a lot else I can or want to add here to my Tweets and Facebook accounts.

As many of you know, I was a huge and devoted Leonard Cohen fan, going way back to my high school days in the ’60s when I came across a slim volume of poetry called Let Us Compare Mythologies. I was hooked on Leonard and Leonard hooked me on poetry. When the NFB’s Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen was released in 1965, I felt that I was meeting him face-to-face. I wanted to be like him: suave, debonair, a warm, romantic womanizing wordsmith with a magnetic touch, wandering rainy streets, tortured by my art. What’s not to like?

Well, the rest is history, for both Leonard and me. I’m not Leonard, or anything like him. No one could be. There has not been or will ever be another Leonard Cohen. His art, whether written, spoken or sung, will always command a unique and profound niche in Canada and internationally.

Remarkably, I met Leonard at the launch of his Drawn To Words art exhibit in Toronto in 2007. We chatted amiably. He was diminutive, humble and awkwardly polite. He somehow reversed our roles, thanking me profusely for taking the time to talk to him, telling me how pleased he was to meet  me.

Oddly perhaps, I didn’t tell Leonard I wrote poetry. It just seemed so paltry and anemic at the time. But I did tell him that I’d named our cat after him. And that, I remember, made him smile as I shook his small hand.

Good-bye Leonard. We’re all gonna miss you……Thanks for the dance//It’s been hell, it’s been swell//It’s been fun//Thanks for all the dances//One two three, one…..two…..three………….one.