All kinds of music gets stuck in the top of my mind: pop tunes, carols, hymns, blues. I walk to their refrain for half a day, then pass on to something else. But some music wraps around the brain stem, permeates the convolutions, gets in there for keeps.
No Cure for Leonard Cohen
His songs dig hooks into memory–
deep, dark, rich, complex as chocolate,
but unsweetened by sentiment.
Transcendence and despair do duets,
celebration and regret. Beauty sheds
her merely pretty clothes; pain uplifts.
Behind one devastating line, the heart
is hid. His half-destroyed voice demands it:
Chase the holy; seek it in the broken.