Daily Archives: April 21, 2012

Meditating, by George-B (my poetic thoughts collection)


by George-B

Being beyond having to be seen,

Heard, asked to move, pardoned

Somehow like a tree

One drop of rain

A spec of dust

A star too far,

Yet:  Being,

For a while,  just being…

Leonard Cohen – Never Any Good

Word from :  “Leonard Cohen – Never Any Good: Clips from Baby DollTennessee Williams – “Baby Doll” is an entertaining hoot that doesn’t seem as sensationalistic as I’m sure it was when the film was first released in 1956. It’s simply a Southern-fried farce about the potential deflowering of a nineteen-year old child bride with a nice, pouty turn by Carroll Baker in the title role and a surprisingly funny one by Karl Malden as her randy husband, cotton mill owner Archie. 1958’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is far more vaunted but ultimately hamstrung by the overly careful portrayal of Brick as an asexual protagonist, this in spite of stellar performances from Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives. “

Roshi at 89 – Leonard Cohen


Roshi’s very tired

he’s lying on his bed

He’s been living with the living

and dying with the dead

But now he wants another drink
(will wonders never cease?)

He’s making war on war
and he’s making war on peace

He’s sitting in the throne-room

on his great Original Face

and he’s making war on Nothing

that has something in its place

His stomach’s very happy
the prunes are working well

There’s no one going to Heaven

and there’s no one left in Hell

Leonard Cohen,
Mt. Baldy, California, 1996

Leonard Cohen
and Joshu Sasaki Roshi

(Title page of 
Shambhala Sun Magazine

September 1998)

Leonard Cohen: Portrét 1997

Leonard Cohen’s Elegy For Janis Joplin – Chelsea Hotel #1 (I travel deep in my heart every time I listen to this song)



On a trip to New York last month, Mel Joss made a pilgrimage to Room 424 of the Chelsea Hotel, where Leonard Cohen was one of the many famous artists and writers in residence,1  In planning the posting of the photos Mel took during this expedition, I came to realize that these images could be used to best effect as elements in a video of Chelsea Hotel #1, the version of the Chelsea Hotel song before it became Chelsea Hotel #2.


The video features the audio recording of the first version of Chelsea Hotel from Leonard Cohen’s 1972 concert in Tel Aviv2 complemented by images of Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin (whose liaison with Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel led to the creation of the song), the Chelsea Hotel, and other people and places associated with the song.

In part, this video is offered in support of my contention that thematically Chelsea Hotel #1 is  a much different song than Chelsea Hotel #2.

Chelsea Hotel #1  focuses on the death of the singer’s (i.e., Leonard Cohen’s) lover (i.e., Janis Joplin), with whom the singer identifies primarily  as as an admired fellow artist and colleague and only secondarily as an object of affection or, at least, of reciprocated lust.  In Chelsea Hotel #2, the situation is reversed with the key issue becoming the  singer’s unambiguous examination of his own feelings for and perception of the woman at the Chelsea Hotel – even if doing so results in an ignoble self-characterization.

In the second version, the listener’s knowledge of the identity of Janis Joplin is decidedly less important to experiencing the full impact of he song, which could indeed be the reason Leonard Cohen revised Chelsea Hotel #1 – to make the music more universal and less a biographic tribute to a specific individual.

Further, if Cohen  revealed who inspired the Chelsea Hotel song while it was still in its first iteration,3 it could, in addition, explain why Cohen famously came to regret this disclosure since it would have been helpful information to those hearing Chelsea Hotel #1  but would have been not only unnecessary but also  counterproductive for audiences listening to Chelsea Hotel #2.

Update: For more discussion of the significance of the differences between Chelsea Hotel #1 and Chelsea Hotel #2, including a video interview with Leonard Cohen addressing his relationship with Janis Joplin as portrayed in the songs, see How Often Did Leonard Cohen Think Of Janis Joplin’s Sweet Little Sound? – Chelsea Hotel #1 & 2

Jimi Hendrix -All Along The Watchtower original music

Bob Dylan – All Along The Watchtower (Carry your own oil lamp in darkness!)

“There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion”, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

“No reason to get excited”, the thief he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”.

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.


Bob Dylan: Positively 4th Street (It’s OK to feel the way you feel, and say it too!)

Positively 4th Street (bob Dylan)  

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that’s winning

You say I let you down
You know it’s not like that
If you’re so hurt
Why then don’t you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that’s not where it’s at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You’re in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I’d make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don’t know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, “How are you?” “Good luck”
But you don’t mean it

When you know as well as me
You’d rather see me paralyzed
Why don’t you just come out once
And scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I’d rob them

And now I know you’re dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don’t you understand
It’s not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is
To see you

Bob Dylan – Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.

Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released (to all those who carry around a conscience, like a ball and chain, building the pass to TRUTH)

They say evrything can be replaced,
Yet evry distance is not near.
So I remember evry face
Of evry man who put me here.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

They say evry man needs protection,
They say evry man must fall.
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Some place so high above this wall.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

Standing next to me in this lonely crowd,
Is a man who swears he’s not to blame.
All day long I hear him shout so loud,
Crying out that he was framed.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

The Band and Friends performing an incredible tune, “I Shall Be Released”, during their last concert with the original lineup.