Shame is Glory

18-white02There is a trend of musicians recording at they die; Creating their own farewell, summation and artistic statement. Johnny Cash, Warren Zevon, Levon Helm, and recently David Bowie. All leaving resonant farewells. The most recent is Leonard Cohen.

I wrote blogs about my collection of his music in May of this year here and here. As I say in those posts I enjoyed Cohen but didn’t consider myself a fan the was many people I knew who were die-hard fans. Seeing him in concert never appealed to me. To some of them it was a spiritual life-changing experience to see him live.18-white03

The farewell albums by the musicians above have all been sad and rewarding. It was remarkable to hear them looking back while pushing their music forward. Cohen’s ‘You Want It Darker’ is no exception, except, unlike the other lps it gave me chills.18-white04

The production, by his son Adam, recalls the female chorus of his first album for a feeling of familiarity. This is one of the few direct allusions to his past recordings. The arrangements are subtle – they support without drawing attention away from his voice or his lyrics. Don’t worry I’m not going to do a song by commentary.

I downloaded this when it was released unaware that he was facing any health issues. This reflects how disinterested I am anything that is trending. I read no reviews. On the first listening I drawn in my the gravitias of his voice and as always but the ironic yet romantic stance he takes.

The song Leaving The Table really resonated with me because in my own way I have left some tables in my creative and recovery life. Cutting out nearly all spoken word shows was leaving that table after being at that table for too many years with too little results. (Bartenders making more money in tops than features & shows being ousted for not making enough $ for bartenders. But I digress.)18-white01

When I read that Cohen had died the album was transformed for me. It was a funeral mass he had written for himself and his fans as he literally left the table of life. In the title track he sings: “If thine is the glory/ Then mine must be the shame” I my own life I’ve realized that shame come from cultural judgements that keep us at a table we’re afraid to leave – to leave the table is to experience glory.

His voice is spectral on all the tracks. It is like he is in the room whispering in your ear. Not merely a variation of his past but now a ghost. ‘You want it darker, we put out the flame’

His is one candle that will never go out.



just because I’m not with you

doesn’t mean I against you

I’m not taking sides

I’m not standing in your way

my indifference

can’t be built on

but don’t let that deter you

you can build

you can move forward

you don’t need my permission or support

I’m not a viper in your breast


that’s me on the sidewalk

the white entitled cismale

who doesn’t even have to count

on those factors

as long as others take them

into consideration

I don’t have to do anything to reenforce

those inherent historic qualities

they are merely there

don’t allow your judgements

of what is merely there

keep you from anything


I’m not you

not with you

not against you

no one needs my acknowledgement

my sympathy

any actions of direct support

to make changes

that need to be made

I don’t have the power

the strength

the moral commitment

to either cause or resist

I’ll stand back

and when you are done

maybe we can go for a coffee

on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th 2017 Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

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