A Collaboration on Leonard Cohen: The People’s Poetry of amazon.com

Leonard Cohen brings out the poet in us. One day I was on amazon.com researching which album to buy next and noticed a remarkable thing: Every listener review was poetry itself. I couldn’t help but string them together, becoming a poet myself, briefly.

We, your people, would like a word.

For all the years we’ve listened to you,

Awakening with your voice in our heads,

It’s only fair that you take a seat

And listen a moment to us.


Because we want to be like you,

Or because we already are,

Driven to note our points of view,

We’re moved to virtually gather,

To compose reviews of you.


Just listen to what happens

To us, your grateful heirs,

When you open up our poets’ chests.

We sing too in our way.

Here is what we say:


That Voice, tempered with gravel,

Croaky and content,

Rare, robust and sweet,

Reports from the grave.


A creamy smooth and gloomy whisper,


Creepily resonant,

Rings deep and broken

Like a clock winding down,

Forgiving and loving in the end.


The Mood an autumn of fear,

Cool grey emotion and soothing tenderness;

A fine echo,

Poetic fire reminds that with hope desperation also comes

And yields dirges in the vein of open wrists and blood dribbling.

Depressed optimism ensues.


You Speak of loneliness, broken romance,

Addiction and silent prayers for grace.

In your evocative-provocative world-of-words

That only a man who has been to the edges and back

Can craft.


You Show us tormented souls

In the depths

Of the incomprehensible and unknowable;

Vignettes portrayed in chiaroscuro.

Bareboned spirituals

Encompass the silence of those of us

Without a personal god.


Groove laden poetry married to the sound

Reveals what happens when you see things

Through the eyes of love,

Uplifting, haunting, moving

From sublime absolute heartbreak

To joy profoundly wrapped in paradox

Told with cynical, world-weary humor, thank god,

From a beautifully jaundiced eye.


As We Slip into your masterpiece

We receive.

The night train returns and it’s warm inside

And takes us somewhere else.

A deep and mysterious impact

Finds things around us we never noticed before,

Comfort in dark times, soul massage.

We shiver when we listen,

To a chill like never before.

How did you know? Were you watching us?


We Celebrate our constant and steadfast companion

Who preaches songs we all need to hear,

Who’s been put on earth to guide us all

Like a cherished poet we hold close for emergencies,

Who we want to live until one hundred and ten, at least.

You take us down the back roads of your life

And into the crossroads of ours.


We revel in the contagion

That you supply.

Breathe in our phrases;

We hope they’ll stay with you.

We’ll get back to listening.

Got anything new?



*All comments gathered 6-30-09 from amazon.com reviews of “10 New Songs.” See amazon.com for who wrote what.



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