“These poems [in Book Of Longing] were written in the midst of all this phony talk about brotherhood, new visions, and new possibilities” Leonard Cohen


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These poems [in Book Of Longing] were written in the midst of all this phony talk about brotherhood, new visions, and new possibilities when the hustlers had already moved in and taken over the revolution and you know, this stuff was being sold in head shops and it had pretty well evaporated.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen’s The Future Interview by Bob Mackowitz. Transcript from a radio special produced by Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992.

Book Of Longing Audiobook – Narrated By Leonard Cohen

Book of Longing is a critically-acclaimed collection of poetry by the late Leonard Cohen. The audiobook features edited and remastered archival recordings of the author himself, reading the poems in a home environment. (Amazon.com)

Book of Longing (Audible.com.au)

  • By: Leonard Cohen
  • Narrated by: Leonard Cohen
  • Length: 3 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-10-2018
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

“My advice is highly valued. For instance, don’t piss on a large pine cone. It may not be a pine cone…” From The Luckiest Man In The World By Leonard Cohen

My advice is highly valued. For instance, don’t piss on a large pine cone. It may not be a pine cone. If you are not clear about which spiders are poisonous, kill them all. The daddy long legs is not a true spider, it actually belongs to the Seratonio crime family. Although insects value their lives, and even though their relentless industry is an example for all of us, they rarely have a thought about death, and when they do it is not accompanied by strong emotions, as it is with you and me. They hardly discriminate between life and death. In this sense they are much like mystics, and like mystics, many are poisonous. It would be difficult to make love to an insect, especially if you are well endowed. As for my own experience, not one single insect has ever complained. If you are not sure which mystics are poisonous, it is best to kill the one you come across with a blow to the head using a hammer, or a show, or a large old vegetable, such as a petrified beet.

Excerpted from The Luckiest Man In The World (Mt Baldy, 1997) – Book Of Longing by Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen Talks About The Meaning Of “My Dick Is The Horse And My Life Is The Cart…” & Why He Rewrote Those Lines

Stina Lundberg: In the Book of Longing there is a long poem, and I probably don’t remember the lines right, but it is something like “My dick is the horse and my life is the chart…”

Leonard Cohen: Is the cart.

Stina Lundberg: Is the cart, sorry.

Leonard Cohen: Yeah, very vulgar line, I wish I hadn’t written it. In fact I changed it.

Stina Lundberg: To what?

Leonard Cohen: I don’t remember… what I changed it to now, because, er… I had a growing sense of dissatisfaction with that poem. I must remove it from the site (chuckles) or at least it needs more work. It came out of a time when I’d just come down from Mount Baldy and I was writing very, very quickly and with a great sense of, a kind of wild sense of freedom from the schedule, and I was blackening a lot of pages and sending them off to the website, and that’s one I have to look at.

Stina Lundberg: Why? It’s very direct.

Leonard Cohen: It’s very direct but I think the language – it could be… it could be as direct… a little bit more musical. Try for a different music.

Stina Lundberg: But what did it mean? What is the content?

Leonard Cohen: I think the content is that, you know, that’s where a man’s brain is. And you know, when I watch the young, as I do because I have two young – they’re not children, they’re young adults – I remember going to a party that my son invited me to, and I sat there just thanking my lucky stars that I wasn’t 25, because I saw this… the level of suffering at one of these events was overwhelming, you know, the mutual displays of attraction, the effort that had gone into each personal presentation, the expectations, the disappointments… it seemed to be one of the circles of hell that I was pleased not to be in.

From 2001 Leonard Cohen interview with Stina Lundberg. Originally posted May 12, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

DrHGuy Note:

The verse to which Stina refers follows:

I followed the course
from chaos to art
My dick was the horse
my life was the cart

Accessed at Book Of Longing – LeonardCohenFiles

In the Book Of Longing published in 2006, that verse reads

I followed the course
From chaos to art
Desire the horse
Depression the cart

On the other hand,

If only my genitals didn’t float
When I relaxed in the bath
And we both looked down and we both agreed
It’s stupid to be a man

From The Good Fight by Leonard Cohen, published in Stranger Music (1993)

More About Leonard’s Genital Self-assessment: