February 17th, 2007

alice facepalm

Dad reads Cohen.

posted in greatpoets

A Kite is a Victim

A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.

A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won't give up,
or the wind die down.

A kite is the last poem you've written
so you give it to the wind,
but you don't let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.

A kite is a contract of glory
that must be made with the sun,
so you make friends with the field
the river and the wind,
then you pray the whole cold night before,
under the travelling cordless moon,
to make you worthy and lyric and pure.

- Leonard Cohen

My Dad visited earlier today and was reading Leonard Cohen poems to me from his old copy of Selected Poems 1956 -1968. He began by reading the above poem and then a few others. This is his worn book (which he gave me) that he had during his hippie / hitchhiker days. He was on a bus and no one was talking until they had a stop and bought some alcohol. After that, everyone loosened up quite a bit, so much so that this particular book has names of girls with addresses scribbled on some of the pages.

He never wrote them though. Typical for travelers. I've had similar greyhound experiences myself, minus the alcohol. It reminds me of reunions, where everyone exchanges addys & numbers with passionately made promises to most sincerely keep in touch from here on in, now & forever, but never do.

It was a nice moment to see Dad leafing through some of his memories. If only these instances would not be so rare. Also, I couldn't help but wish I'd have lived more, collecting such fascinating stories by this age, as he has done. It isn't enough of an excuse that "things are different these days" - I believe it's a case of me not having the nerve. I hold myself back in countless ways on purpose, I know.

The other book on the table is Fences And Windows Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate by Naomi Klein, which is the first book I read this year - and I wanted to share it with my Dad because I believe he'll be interested in the subject matter. This info is not all that important or related to the post, but I felt like sharing.