I'm Back on Boogie Street
Leonard in 2000 and Beyond

"A Thousand Kisses Deep"--
"We don't write the play, we don't produce it, we don't direct it and we're not even actors in it... Everybody eventually comes to the conclusion that things are not unfolding exactly the way they wanted, and that the whole enterprise has a basis that you can't penetrate. Nevertheless, you live your life as if it's real. But with the understanding: It's only a thousand kisses deep, that is, with that deep intuitive understanding that this is unfolding according to a pattern that you simply cannot discern."

-- Toronto Globe and Mail, September 1, 2001
Photo by Chema Conesa
El Mundo, July 5, 2001

Photo by Ann Johansson
Toronto Globe and Mail, September 1, 2001

"I work slowly and like to be sure of my efforts. There are people who write marvellous songs or poems in the back of a taxi cab. I would have loved to have this talent, but that is not the case."
-- Le Magazine de L'Optimum, October 2001

Photograph by Gabriel Jones
Saturday Night, September 15, 2001
"In My Secret Life"--
"We all have a sense of a truth. The truth can be the most intimate conversation with one's heart about its desire and appetite. And when this conversation appears, it comes very close to the truth and a feeling of authenticity. But I don't imagine to have a metaphysic system without contradictions, and I don't think this is the poet's nor the songwriter's duty. In one of the songs I start by saying: 'I smile when I'm angry. / I cheat and I lie. / I do what I have to do / to get by. / But I know what is wrong. / And I know what is right. / And I'd die for the truth / In My Secret Life.' To be understood in the way that you can deceive everybody but yourself. This is the truth viewed in a simple, pragmatic and ordinary way, but it isn't the great truth of our existence. I can't control that."

-- Euroman, September 2001

"Love Itself"--
"When I say, 'Love itself is gone,...' by love I don't mean the opposite of hate. I don't mean romantic love. I mean the tyranny of love. I mean the expectation that there's going to be some transformative experience either romantic, sexual or spiritual. That concept that love dissolves and after that there's a kind of peace that arises."

-- Macleans.ca, October 15, 2001
Photo by Mitch Jenkins
The Times Magazine, October 13, 2001

Photo by Platon
GQ, November 2001
"I try to make my songs as exact as I can. Sometimes I have the feeling that I am painting with an eyelash. I think of myself as a journalist and my job is to report the news. I write the stories I see around me. I do not try to analyze society nor penetrate some geopolitical vision. But I react to things like everyone else and my songs are an expression of my reactions. "
-- ABC, Sunday Supplement, July 22, 2001

Photo by Darcy Hemley
Spin, March 2002

Special thanks to Marc Gaffie and his website,
Diamonds in the Lines: Leonard Cohen in his own live words,
an extraordinary resource for learning about Leonard's songs.

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