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Leonard Cohen: The latest on the greatest

So, you thought you'd missed your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this world's contemporary Shakespeare -- Leonard Cohen -- up-close and personable since his wildly successful world-wide tour concludes next Friday the 13th @ San Jose's HP Pavilion?



Have I got news for you. More dates for the European leg of the tour have just been announced. Commencing in Caen, France on March 1st next year, the maestro of munificent magnanimity will call it a wrap in Zagreb, Croatia March 15th. Visit his Official Sony 'Site for the latest on the greatest (including details and trailer on the release of the hotly anticipated double-disc DVD/CD Leonard Cohen: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 set; what Beck's planning to do with the music of Our Main Man [a.k.a. Boss 1.0] plus, of course, the full roster of musicians currently accompanying him onstage, the Webb Sisters, Roscoe Beck, Neil Larsen, Sharon Robinson and Bob Metzger foremost among same).



But, wait! There's more . . . and, you *will* respect me in the morning :) . . .

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I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel You were famous, your heart was a legend You told me again you preferred handsome men But for me you would make an exception . . .



On the occasion of his milestone 75th B-Day (Sept. 21st), the legendary Chelsea Hotel, a landmark of New York City artistic and BoHo culture, installed and subsequently unveiled a plaque to honour Canada's premier poet, novelist, filmmaker, artist, singer-songwriter, Zen monk Jikan, two-time Grandpa and, now, accomplished on-stage skipper-maestro Oct. 23rd, the date one of this country's most promising candidates for the Literature Nobel wowed the crowd during his intimately enthralling appearance @ Madison Square Garden.







Designed and purchased by members (under the direction of American Dick Straub) of The Leonard Cohen Forum (a joint message-board / chatroom co-hosted by the U.S.'s Marie Mazur, webmistress of Speaking Cohen and Finland's Jarkko Arjatsalo, webmaster of The Leonard Cohen Files), the lovely commemorabilia now holds its own in the storied hotel's entranceway alongside those honouring luminaries the likes of Brendan Behan, Thomas Wolfe, Arthur Miller, Virgil Thompson, Arthur C. Clarke and Dylan Thomas.





As you most likely know, LC inked Chelsea Hotel No. 2 during one of his frequent stays at the designated Historic Landmark (in the National Registry, 1977) during the late '60s / early '70s. Heh, did you know LC additionally penned Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye , Famous Blue Raincoat and several other tunes during those heady heydaze (which also saw Bob Dylan, Jasper Johns, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, William Burroughs, Patti Smith, Arthur Miller, Willem de Kooning and the Grateful Dead cross its threshold)?



. . . And clenching your fist for the ones like us Who are oppressed by the figures of beauty You fixed yourself; you said, "Well, never mind We are ugly but we have the music . . ."



But, to return to need-to-know info for those among us entranced by LC 'n' Co.? Of course, everybody knows Seems So Long Ago, Nancy , the fifth side on Cohen's Songs From A Room; but, few know more about Nancy than her nephew, Tim Challies, author of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment. To say more than this would lessen the impact of the contents of this astonishing webpage. It will, as we used to say back in the day, blow your mind. 'Nuff said.



Almost . . .

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Listen, does the name David Belbin ring any bells that still can ring for you? No? Not to worry; you're about to learn a great deal about this dedicated aLCoholic [tm]who tirelessly scours Cyberia seeking rare Coheniana. Fasten your seat-bolts from the blues :).



That's all the LC newz fitz-to-print pour vous . . .



. . . Ah, but you got away, didn't you, Babe You just turned your back on the crowd You got away, I never once heard you say "I need you, I don't need you" And all of that jiving around . . .



FWIW: This year's shortlist for the T.S. Eliot Prize includes, among others, Sharon Olds, George Szirtes, Alice Oswald, Sinéad Morrissey and Christopher Reid. (IMO, it's a toss-up between Oswald and Szirtes; FTR, I hope the latter catches it.) Curiously absent from one otherwise balanced list? Don Paterson, the gentle poet who scooped 2009's Forward Poetry Prize for Rain (but, JSYK, Paterson did scoop the 2003 TSE Prize with Landing Light) . . . Mike Barnes, Jill Battson and Patrick Gray will read @ Port Hope's inaugural p o e t r y'z o w n live event in the upstairs room of The Great Farini (22 Ontario Street) Nov. 9th @ 7 PM. Need further 411? Contact James Pickersgill via email: poetryzown@sympatico.ca . . . If you find yourself lost in space, you may discover some small substance, sustenance and solace hearing a wonderful anchoring audio clip from one of the UK's duo of great contemporary "religious" poets, Michael Symmons Roberts. MSR, considered "the best religious poet of his generation," was a finalist for the Griffin Prize and winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award. He discusses Corpus with CBC's Tapestry's Mary Hynes and reads from this transplendent collection. As one commentarian astutely opines, the body's resurrection is as true for this poet as the death of God is for most of his contemporaries: You have a NEW message . . . (S'True; however, I'd argue that Geoffrey Hill could just as easily foot "the best religious poet of his generation" bill.)



(Hat tip and Happy B-Day, Fave Dave Lull and Maud Newton.)



Photographs © 2009 Linda Straub. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved.

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