Leonard Cohen's Homage to Enrique Morente


HOMAGE TO MORENTE




HOMAGE TO MORENTE

When I listen to Morente
I know what I must do
When I listen to Morente
I don’t know what to do
When I listen to Morente
My life becomes too shallow
To swim in
I dig but I can’t go down
I reach but I can’t go up
When I listen to Morente
I know I have betrayed
The solemn promise
The solemn promise that justified
All my betrayals
When I listen to Morente
The alibi of my throat is rejected
The alibi of my gift is overthrown
With six impeccable threads of scorn
My guitar turns away from me
And I want to give everything back
But no one wants it
When I listen to Morente
I surrender to my feeble imagination
Which itself has surrendered long ago
To the Great Voice of the Taverns
And the Families and the Hills
When I listen to Morente
I am humbled but not humiliated
I go with him now
Out of the darkness of what I could not be
Into the darkness of the song I could not sing
The song that hungers for an earthquake
The song that hungers for religion
Then I hear him begin the great ascent
I hear Morente’s Aleluyah
His thundering murderous serene Aleluyah
I hear it rise to the impossible occasion
And pierce the ordinary ambiguities
With the sharpened horns
Of his own inconceivable ambiguities
His cry his perfect word pitched against
The baffled contradictions of the heart
Wrestling them embracing them
Strangling them with a jealous conjugal desperation
And he hangs it there beneath his voice
Above all the broken ceilings
The disappointed sky
His voice escaped from the mud of hope
And the blood of the throat
And the strict training of the cante
And he hangs it there
The Kingdom of Morente
Which he does not enter as Morente
But as the great impersonal anointed Voice
Of the Taverns and the Families and the Hills
And he takes us there
By the bleeding finger by the throat by the soiled lapel
Takes what’s left of us
To his Kingdom the Kingdom of Poverty he himself established
The only place we want to be
Or ever wanted to be
Where we can breathe the childhood air
The unborn air
Where we are nobody at last
Where we cannot go without him
Long live Enrique Morente
Long live the Family Morente
The dancers the singers
The disciples of the Taverns and the Families and the Hills




Copyright © 2014 Leonard Cohen.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo © Birgit Reinke, Madrid 1993.
Taken from mandarinamagazine.es




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