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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Happens to the Heart

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
I got my shit together
Meeting Christ and reading Marx
It failed my little fire
But it’s bright the dying spark
Go tell the young messiah
What happens to the heart

There’s a mist of summer kisses
Where I tried to double-park
The rivalry was vicious
The women were in charge
It was nothing, it was business
But it left an ugly mark
I’ve come here to revisit
What happens to the heart

I was selling holy trinkets
I was dressing kind of sharp
Had a pussy in the kitchen
And a panther in the yard

In the prison of the gifted
I was friendly with the guards
So I never had to witness
What happens to the heart

I should have seen it coming
After all I knew the chart
Just to look at her was trouble
It was trouble from the start
Sure we played a stunning couple
But I never liked the part
It ain't pretty, it ain't subtle
What happens to the heart

Now the angel’s got a fiddle
The devil’s got a harp
Every soul is like a minnow
Every mind is like a shark
I’ve broken every window
But the house, the house is dark
I care but very little
What happens to the heart

Then I studied with this beggar
He was filthy, he was scarred
By the claws of many women
He had failed to disregard
No fable here no lesson
No singing meadowlark
Just a filthy beggar guessing
What happens to the heart

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
It was just some old convention
Like the horse before the cart
I had no trouble betting
On the flood, against the ark
You see, I knew about the ending
What happens to the heart

I was handy with a rifle
My father’s .303
I fought for something final
Not the right to disagree

Avalanche

I stepped into an avalanche,

It covered up my soul;

When I am not this hunchback that you see,

I sleep beneath the golden hill.

You who wish to conquer pain,

You must learn to serve me well.

 

You strike my side by accident

As you go down for your gold.

The cripple here that you clothe and feed

Is neither starved nor cold;

He does not ask for your company,

Not at the centre of the world.

 

When I am on this pedestal,

You did not raise me there.

Your laws do not compel me

To kneel grotesque and bare.

I myself am the pedestal for this ugly hump

at which you stare, stare, stare,...

 

You who wish to conquer pain,

You must learn what makes me kind;

The crumbs of love that you offer me,

They're the crumbs I've left behind.

Your pain is no credential here,

just the shadow of my wound.

 

I have begun to long for you,

I who have no greed;

I have begun to wait for you,

I who have no need.

You say you've gone away from me,

But I can feel you when you breathe.

 

Do not dress in those rags for me,

I know you're not poor;

You don't love me quite so fiercely now

When you know that you are not sure,

This is your world, beloved,

It is your flesh that I wear.

The Stranger Song

It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
Who said they were through with dealing
Every time you gave them shelter
I know that kind of man
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
Who is reaching for the sky just to surrender
Who is reaching for the sky just to surrender

 

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
You find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
That is so high and wild
He'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

 

And then leaning on your window sill
He'll say one day you caused his will
To weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
An old schedule of trains, he'll say
"I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger"

 

But now another stranger seems
To want you to ignore his dreams
As though they were the burden of some other
O you've seen that man before
His golden arm dispatching cards
But now it's rusted from the elbow to the finger
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter

 

Ah you hate to watch another tired man
Lay down his hand
Like he was giving up the holy game of poker
And while he talks his dreams to sleep
You notice there's a highway
That is curling up like smoke above his shoulder
It's curling just like smoke above his shoulder

 

You tell him to come in sit down
But something makes you turn around
The door is open, you can't close your shelter
You try the handle of the road
It opens do not be afraid
It's you my love, you who are the stranger
It is you my love, you who are the stranger

 

"Well, I've been waitin', I was sure
We'd meet between the trains we're waitin' for
I think it's time to board another
Please understand, I never had a secret chart
To get me to the heart of this
Or any other matter"
When he talks like this you don't know what he's after
When he speaks like this you don't know what he's after

 

"Let's meet tomorrow if you choose
Upon the shore, beneath the bridge
That they are building on some endless river"
Then he leaves the platform
For the sleeping car that's warm
You realize, he's only advertising one more shelter
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger
And you say, "Ok, the bridge or someplace later"

 

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
You find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
That is so high and wild
He'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

 

And then leaning on your window sill
He'll say one day you caused his will
To weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
An old schedule of trains, he'll say
"I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger"

Leonard Cohen - Kanye West is not Picasso

Kanye West is not Picasso
I am Picasso
Kanye West is not Edison
I am Edison
I am Tesla
Jay-Z is not the Dylan of anything
I am the Dylan of anything
I am the Kanye West of Kanye West
The Kanye West
Of the great bogus shift of bullshit culture
From one boutique to another
I am Tesla
I am his coil
The coil that made electricity soft as a bed
I am the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he is
When he shoves your ass off the stage
I am the real Kanye West
I don't get around much anymore
I never have
I only come alive after a war
And we have not had it yet

 

March 15, 2015

Leonard Cohen - Drank a Lot

i drank a lot. i lost my job.

i lived like nothing mattered.

then you stopped, and came across

my little bridge of fallen answers.

 

i don’t recall what happened next.

i kept you at a distance.

but tangled in the knot of sex

my punishment was lifted.

 

and lifted on a single breath—

no coming and no going—

o G-d, you are the only friend

i never thought of knowing.

 

your remedies beneath my hand

your fingers in my hair

the kisses on our lips began

that ended everywhere.

 

and now our sins are all confessed

our strategies forgiven

it’s written that the law must rest

before the law is written.

 

and not because of what i’d lost

and not for what i’d mastered

you stopped for me, and came across

the bridge of fallen answers.

 

tho’ mercy has no point of view

and no one’s here to suffer

we cry aloud, as humans do:

we cry to one another.

 

And now it’s one, and now it’s two,

And now the whole disaster.

We cry for help, as humans do—

Before the truth, and after.

 

And Every Guiding Light Was Gone

And Every Teacher Lying—

There Was No Truth In Moving On—

There Was No Truth In Dying.

 

And Then The Night Commanded Me

To Enter In Her Side—

And Be As Adam Was To Eve

Before The Great Divide.

 

her remedies beneath my hand

her fingers in my hair—

and every mouth of hunger glad—

and deeply unaware.

 

and here i cannot lift a hand

to trace the lines of beauty,

but lines are traced, and beauty’s glad

to come and go so freely.

 

and from the wall a grazing wind,

weightless and routine—

it wounds us as i part your lips

it wounds us in between.

 

and every guiding light was gone

and every sweet direction—

the book of love i read was wrong

it had a happy ending.

 

And Now There Is No Point Of View—

And Now There Is No Other—

We Spread And Drown As Lilies Do—

We Spread And Drown Forever.

 

You are my tongue, you are my eye,

My coming and my going.

O G-d, you let your sailor die

So he could be the ocean.

 

And when I’m at my hungriest

She takes away my tongue

And holds me here where hungers rest

Before the world is born.

 

And fastened here we cannot move

We cannot move forever

We spread and drown as lilies do—

From nowhere to the center.

 

Escaping through a secret gate

I made it to the border

And call it luck—or call it fate—

I left my house in order.

 

And now there is no point of view—

And now there is no other—

We spread and drown as lilies do—

We spread and drown forever.

 

Disguised as one who lived in peace

I made it to the border

Though every atom of my heart

Was burning with desire.

Travel(l)ing Light

Super 8, so grainy some TV channels used the City Sickness video with this song. My favourite tindersticks film. Our second with Martin Wallace. Features Matt, our then tour manager, merchandise chap, and Ilona, who we knew from the Rough Trade shop. Also features Stuart's daughter, Sidonie again, now up on her feet. The middle eight pub scene was great fun, putting the band together from friends, getting our promoter Big Ray, to DJ. Dickon's brother plays bass. None of us appear in the film. And the end result is a joy every time I see it.

 

Music video by Leonard Cohen performing Traveling Light. (C) 2017 Sony Music Entertainment

You Want It Darker

From The New York Times Magazine's 25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going:

It wasn’t an email from God, but it was close. Leonard Cohen had written to ask if Gideon Zelermyer, the cantor of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim near Montreal — Cohen’s childhood synagogue — was interested in recording with him.

 

Zelermyer was soon sitting inside the synagogue’s sanctuary with a few members of Shaar’s all-male choir, playing with different arrangements for “You Want It Darker,” the title track of Cohen’s 14th and final studio album. Some of the words Cohen had given them to work with were familiar; they were borrowed from two of Judaism’s holiest prayers. One is the Kaddish, recited by mourners after the death of a loved one. The other is the High Holy Days prayer Hineni — literally, “Here I am” — a personal entreaty to God, the worshiper asking plaintively for mercy. The choir’s voices are the first sounds you hear on the album, their ethereal harmonics giving way to sparse instrumentation and Cohen’s weary, subterranean growl, then returning to back up the song’s choruses and final movement.

 

This was hardly the first time that Cohen had drawn on his Judaism for his music. Though he had a complicated relationship with his religious inheritance, it provided a natural vocabulary for him; it was what he knew, and its stories of human suffering and, occasionally, redemption suited his poet’s pull toward the existential. But never before have Cohen’s biblical references felt so charged, so dark, so pointed. “Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name,” he sings. “Vilified, crucified, in the human frame. A million candles burning for the help that never came. You want it darker.” Then, echoing the words that Abraham spoke as he answered God’s command to sacrifice his only son: “Hineni, I’m ready, my Lord.”

 

You can’t listen to these words without thinking about the fact that Cohen was dying when he recorded them. It’s one thing to meditate on faith and mortality when death is an abstraction. It is surely another when you can feel it bearing down on you. And yet the choir’s harmonies manage to transform the song, lifting Cohen’s solitary struggle into something universal, even eternal.

 

Cohen once said that he did not think of himself as a religious person, but his life was in many ways an extended spiritual journey. Buddhism, Scientology, kabbalah, Hare Krishna, Hinduism — Cohen sampled them all. Yet in his final years, he found himself drawn back to the 171-year-old synagogue where he had become a bar mitzvah, where both his grandfather and great-grandfather served as presidents, where a photograph of his Hebrew-school class taken in 1949 still hangs on the wall. Cohen was living in Los Angeles, but a cousin in Montreal sent him a recording of Zelermyer and his choir, reuniting Cohen with sounds that had never stopped echoing in his head. He and the cantor struck up an email correspondence. “May your voice reach that Place and bring down the blessings,” Cohen wrote Zelermyer in 2008, before the High Holy Days. (“He can’t write anything normally, can he?” the cantor remembers thinking.) And then several years later came the note, asking for help with a new record. As Cohen put it, “I’m looking for a sound like the Shaar choir and cantor of my youth.”

 

In October, the record-release event for “You Want It Darker” was held at the residence of the Canadian consul general in Los Angeles. Zelermyer was seated with the other V.I.P.s in the front row. It was the first time he had met Cohen in person. It would also be the last. Weeks later, Cohen’s coffin was lowered into the earth at Shaar Hashomayim’s cemetery. Zelermyer stood next to Cohen’s family as they recited the Kaddish.♦

 

Jonathan Mahler is a staff writer for the magazine.

If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

 

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker

 

Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

 

There's a lover in the story
But the story's still the same
There's a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it's written in the scriptures
And it's not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

 

They're lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle class and tame
I didn't know I had permission to murder and to maim
You want it darker

 

Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

 

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

 

If you are the dealer, let me out of the game
If you are the healer, I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame
You want it darker

 

Hineni, hineni
Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

 

Hineni
Hineni, hineni
Hineni

Democracy

"Democracy" by the late and great Leonard Cohen, played on piano by Amanda Palmer, words by Neil Gaiman.

Watch the video by David Mack and Olga Nunes here:pen.org/donate-democracy
This project was funded by 9,408 people onpatreon.com/amandapalmer
All download proceeds benefit PEN america: pen.org

Limited prints of this original artwork by Vladimir Zimakov, with *all proceeds* benefitting PEN america (an organization that defends and protects the rights writers and journalists, sorely needed in the upcoming era of Trump) available here:shop.amandapalmer.net/products/limited-edition-cohen-print

 

Credits

released December 22, 2016
artwork by vladimir zimakov (www.vladimirzimakov.com)

written by leonard cohen

neil gaiman - vocals
recorded by patrick o'leary at john marshall media studio in new york city.
amanda palmer - piano
recorded by prasanna bishop at akashic studio in boulder, colorado

etienne abelin - violin
ola sendecki - violin
david schnee - viola
lukas raaflaub - cello

recorded by benjamin gut at idee und klang studio in basel, switzerland
arranged, mixed and mastered by jherek bischoff

R.E.M. - Hope

You want to go out Friday
And you want to go forever
You know that it sounds childish
That you dreamt of alligators
You hope that we are with you
And you hope you're recognized
You want to go forever
You see it in my eyes
I'm lost in the confusion
And it doesn't seem to matter
You really can't believe it
And you hope it's getting better

You want to trust the doctors
Their procedure is the best
But the last try was a failure
And the intern was a mess
And they did the same to Matthew
And he bled 'til Sunday night
They're saying don't be frightened
But you're weakened by the sight of it
You lock into a pattern
And you know that it's the last ditch
You're trying to see through it
And it doesn't make sense
But they're saying don't be frightened
And they're killing alligators
And they're hog-tied
And accepting of the struggle

You want to trust religion
And you know it's allegory
But the people who are followers
Have written their own story
So you look up to the heavens
And you hope that it's a spaceship
And it's something from your childhood
You're thinking don't be frightened

You want to climb the ladder
You want to see forever
You want to go out Friday
And you want to go forever
And you want to cross your DNA
To cross your DNA with something reptile

And you're questioning the sciences
And questioning religion
You're looking like an idiot
And you no longer care
And you want to bridge the schism,
A built-in mechanism to protect you
And you're looking for salvation
And you're looking for deliverance
You're looking like an idiot
And you no longer care
'Cause you want to climb the ladder
You want to go forever
And you want to go out Friday
You want to go forever