Seriously, my boyfriend is jealous of my love for Leonard Cohen! Who doesn't love weary poets that had crushes on Nico?
Leonard Cohen is a 74-year-old Canadian poet/musician best known for his song that was covered by the god of gods John Cale called "Hallelujah." Of course Leonard hung out with Andy Warhol, what old poet didn't back in the 1960s? He was a fringe friend, he played guitar for my girl crush, Nico (Seriously, I'd go gay for her and Edie Sedgwick).
I personally think Leonard is a genius. My favorite song of his is "So Long, Marianne" I even quoted that song for this segment. He even had a whole compilation of covers of his made for him. He was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and wrote two songs about Nico.
"Give me a Leonard Cohen afterward," from Nirvana's song, "Pennyroyal Tea" is a lyric that takes my somber mood and makes me happy. I developed a friendship through the airwaves with Leonard Cohen when I was thirteen, that spiritual friendship is a friendship I cherish as much as my spiritual friendship with my hero, idol, mentor, and patroness Patti Smith, who I like to think is the female Leonard. OK, maybe his subtle picture and the picture of her screaming isn't a good example, but her mellow stuff is totally Leonard.
Young ones may not understand his slow, melodic, deep voice, but I did at thirteen. He spoke to me, though. He gave me advice, just as John and Patti did. He is, in my opinion, the silent rebel. Patti was the vocal one, John was the Avant-Garde one, and Nico was the beautiful one. These rebels all molded me and then some. The silent, laid back person in anything, at least for me, is always the one that stands out. When I was thirteen and I asked a boy out, the boy said "no, sorry," and I cried for twenty minutes late at night because of it. I screamed at my dad, "What would John do?" he said "I don't know."
"What would Nico do?"
"What would Patti do?"
"Write a song."
At that time, I was not confident in my writing abilities when it came to poetry. Then I quietly, almost defeated asked, "What about Leonard?" as I stared at a picture of him I printed off of the computer that I tacked onto the collage of musicians I still have on my wall today.
He said, "I think he and Patti and John and even Nico would go to school tomorrow with their head held high, acting like nothing even happened. Maybe Patti would confront him, but I think Leonard would just let it blow over."
And I don't truly know if Leonard Cohen would just let the first person he asked out rejecting him blow over, but it sounded accurate. I let it blow over, and that boy ended up changing his mind. I don't know what happened to him, he all ready graduated school. He went somewhere out west, but doing what Leonard would do, "WWLD?" helped me in love.
Ever since that night four years ago, I've continually have found solace in the words of Leonard Cohen. I have yet again made another friend through the airwaves. I have earned another shoulder to cry on. Leonard Cohen, a hero of a god, a human above all else, is amazing. That's all.
"Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried, in my way, to be free."
--Leonard Cohen, "Bird on the Wire"