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Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I Am Not Your Man 
Leonard Cohen interviewed by Jian Gomeshi

Before I was old, you didn’t ask me
how I felt about dying.

Now, being both old and a poet,
I ought to know.

I answer with words you don’t use -
the alliterative “can’t command the consequences”;

I want the truth to sound like me.
We are all caught in this charade of slogans.

I can’t abide glory, but glory pays the bills.
Trophy, atrophy. Rest is how the rust gets in.

Beyond the horizon everything comes together
into nothing but survival. Hallelujah.

If you fall prey to pretty virgin words
you can lie, really lie.

The teller and the tale.
Shape-shifting. Myth making.

“Get anything interesting?” I ask.
The crew want lunch.

— David Haskins

This poem was one of four that won the Leonard Cohen poetry contest run by It is posted on

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