One of those days when the hat doesn’t help

I was browsing the poetry section at Waterstones, waiting for something to catch my eye, when I spotted this quotation on the front of a Bukowski anthology.

Bukowski brings us all down to earth, even the angels

I liked that. It was penned by a certain Mr Leonard Cohen. One thing leads to another and I wound up buying Book of Longing, Mr Cohen’s 2006 poetry collection, and yesterday evening I pottered through its pages. Needless to say, I liked the book too. It is dotted with his own illustrations and witty epithets which round out the poems.


I’m spoiled for choice over a good short poem from it to post but here is…

Layton’s Question

Always after I tell him
what I intend to do next,
Layton solemnly inquires;
Leonard, are you sure
you’re doing the wrong thing?

Some of the poetry relates his dalliances with Buddhism. I’m starting to figure out that most of the people on earth I feel a sense of connection with have at least flirted with the big fat golden one, even if like me they have ultimately rejected him. My reason for falling short is that I can’t reconcile myself to the notion of not wanting anything. It’s all very lovely and peaceful, but I can’t help believing that desire is what separates the alive from the inanimate. Yes, it causes no end of trouble, but I want that trouble, the trouble of being alive, the trouble of being human. That’s the trouble with me. I’m not ready for peace.

I prefer poetry to Buddhism.


4 thoughts on “One of those days when the hat doesn’t help

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