Love Letter to Leonard Cohen by Jim Nason

Poem title: Love Letter to Leonard Cohen Poet name: Jim Nason Poem: Thank you for coming to my room* – L. Cohen Cigarette smoke lingering in her frizzy hair, Janis on her knees at the Chelsea Hotel. Joni’s moody telegram tracking you down in Hydra. Suzanne by the Montreal river feeding you oranges and tea. Now, the shimmering ghost of your ego sits lotus in L. A., your thousand-and-one self-portraits gathered and sorted into various awkward positions. The Yom Kippur War has been delivered on a postcard to Esther in Central Park West. The shiny revolvers on your bedside table have been reloaded, your black fedora tossed to history’s floor. The tissue that filled your shoes did not make you taller. The shoes are gone. The box empty. I do not find myself among your letters or drawings, you should know my favourite flower is the tulip—red or mauve. My preferred chocolate comes in bars the length of a taller man’s shoes. I like my massage face down, kisses along my neck. I have licked the gluey back of your Canada Post stamp, clung to the rung of your ladder, bruised my knees in the tower of song. I was your disciple. I was naïve. I have wrung my hands, unsung my worship. I am your Judas. I’ve cracked the door to your Chelsea room— the unmade bed, a stack of Polaroids. A desk. A silent lamp with tilted shade. Your fedora on its back, sweat-stained rim like a wet, gaping mouth. *“If There Were no Paintings,” The Flame-Poems and Selections From Notebooks End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Jim Nason Jim Nason is the author of eight volumes of poetry, a short story collection, and three novels. His most recent poetry collection is Self Portrait Embracing a Fabulous Beast, was recently published by Frontenac House, Calgary (2023). Jim has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Award in both the fiction and poetry categories. His poetry book Rooster, Dog, Crow was Shortlisted for the 2019 Raymond Souster Award, and his poems have been included in anthologies across the United States and Canada, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, 2010 and 2014. Jim is also a teacher, painter, and activist. More information about Jim and his work can be found on his website; or Instagram @jim_nason.