Archive for the ‘Leonard Cohen’ Tag

First, We Take Manhattan | Silver Blade Magazine   Leave a comment


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What do Leonard Cohen and the film Independance Day have in common? They both heavily infleuenced my prose poem, “First, We Take Manhattan“, in which an alien lifeform delights in the convenient way in which humanity clusters in upon itself, making annihalation easy.

Music has always been a heavy influence on me, and Leonard Cohen has especially shown up quite a few time in my work, (Searching for Suzanne on Youtube, and Listening to Jeff Sing Hallelujah are two other poems of mine based on Cohen songs). This was the first time, though, that I gave the song a brand new interpretation, instead of simply building upon what was already there.

It wasn’t necessarily easy to do, and as I said, I took some inspiration from the movie Independence Day as well. Mashing up a song with a movie, and coming out with a prose poem. Who’da thunk?

Today, in your own writing. try to put two seemingly disparate things together, to create a third. Surprise yourself. And have fun!

Barnwood International   1 comment

Barnwood published two poems of mine this year, “Searching for Suzanne on Youtube” and “Dying is an Art”, both poems inspired by the art of someone else. The first one is actually a tribute to two people, Leonard Cohen wrote the song Suzanne, but it’s Nina Simone’s cover of the song that inspired me to write. A lot of people, when I began to workshop this poem, questioned my use of Youtube, whether social media of any kind belonged in poetry. It’s an interesting debate, one I would welcome continuing in this venue, but ultimately I decided using Youtube set the timing of the poem at a date later than the initial recording in a way that added emotion to the discovery, without spelling out that it was the year 2010.

“Dying is an Art…” uses a quote from Sylvia Plath’s poem “Lady Lazarus” as its title. Reading her poem, and writing down the quote, opened up for me a topic that I had not heretofore written about with success, though I had tried many times. It was an incident in my life that was too emotional to write about head on, even years afterward. Plath has always been a favorite of mine, and I’ve read Lady Lazarus many times before the inspiration hit me to build on it with my own personal experiences with suicide.

As a writing prompt today, write out your favorite poem written by someone else, and see if you can find parallels in your own life. Write them out, and feel free to share.