That’s how the light gets in

I couldn’t sleep last night (or should I say, early this morning), as I wasn’t feeling well. But I also had another feeling something was wrong. What could be more wrong than the terrible news from America (let’s not talk about it, expletives will come out of my mouth if I attempt to)? I picked up my phone and checked my social media and read that Leonard Cohen had died.

No doubt there will be a flood of opinion pieces, blog posts, articles and tributes online about him. I find myself wanting to write something too, but at a loss, because it feels like he has said all the words and there they stand, needing no accessories.

Instead, I find myself drawn to people’s personal stories, drawn from his words, or around them, such as my friend Will’s beautiful blog post here. I would share a long story of my own that is and is not about Cohen, but I feel I am still not brave enough to write it. So instead, I’ll share a shorter one: this morning as my neighbour was getting ready for work, he played Leonard Cohen. I thumped the wall in sympathy, as we sometimes do living in flats to show signs of life. He thumped back, and I felt this wordless noise was enough.

All I can think now is, tell me again how this poetry thing is not about the blood and guts of life?