Tuesday, 3 March 2015

I Love

"I'm Your Man" by Leonard Cohen

How do you injure yourself when you're asleep? Towards my most recent dawn, when, in the interests of urinary continence, I awoke from a fairly disturbing dream (there was self-defending violence, and a guy I know -- a friend, actually -- and, in disguise, other people I know, and other typically REM-ish nonsense), I realized that I had managed to do just that. As I stumbled to the can, I really did stumble to it: why did my right knee hurt so much? It hadn't done so at all when I went to bed. Dreams can hurt you, but recovery time is usually pretty short (a minute or an hour or two, sometimes a week or so, nothing ever really serious), but that's just your spirit they're beating up on, and your spirit is a fucking wimp. How the fuck do you hurt your fucking knee (a real thing) while you're in bed (in bed alone)? I guess it's just one more mystery of the many I'm discovering as I get older. I'm no longer hobbled, but my right knee still doesn't feel right some eighteen hours later.

Pretty funny, huh? Even before I'd finished in the bathroom, I was laughing and remembering Leonard Cohen's great line about aching in the places where he used to play. I couldn't remember which of his many brilliant songs contained it, but later on in the day, after I had spent some time with my shiny new grandson (fed him, burped him, was spat up on by him, loved him even more than I had in our previous encounters -- the future looks good), I discovered it in "Tower of Song," which is a great song, but a sad and rueful one, and I needed a more hopeful Leonard Cohen song, what with my mysteriously sore knee and the optimism running through my blood because of my shiny new grandson's shiny new life. 

Therefore, because it's so full of hope, and because it's so simple, and so complicated, and because it's such beautifully compressed poetry, and because the band's performance understands all that, and because I don't understand women or babies, both of whom have the power and the ability to knee me in the gut, I give you Leonard Cohen, a really spectacular love poet, singing "I'm Your Man."  

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