Once long ago—before Georgia was born, before getting married, in the days when apartments consisted of pee-stained futons and speaker wires tracing across the floor, guitars laid lovingly in their plush cases, overflowing ashtrays, no artwork, no plants, only temperamental cats for decoration—Carrie wrote a song about divorce that became a college-radio hit.
The first poem in Leonard Cohen’s posthumous book The Flame made me laugh. Not because the lyrics are especially funny (although there are touches of Cohen’s characteristic wry humor), and not because the poem is foolish (it’s quite good), but because it is practically a medley of every single theme and obsession Cohen took up over his sixty-year career. Holiness and pussies are just a start. One almost senses him (knowingly, always knowingly) ticking off boxes. Angels and devils: check. Art, sartorial elegance, and slaves: check, check, check. Messianism: check: