Here is a Leonard Cohen mystery. Some time ago someone left a message here and signed it “leonardcohenphotos”. If you follow the link, it leads to a visually haunting blog called leonard cohen’s photo blog, subtitled “a man who wrote suzanne!” The posts are signed “Author” and “last year’s man”. And what is that avatar…a seated figure? or maybe the blue hand of Fatima with the eye in the center?
You don’t have to read too far to figure out that although the blog is in English, that’s not the writer’s first language. But you can also sense the writer is a poet, in the sense of someone who knows how to use minimal verbiage to express essentials. The images are unusual and perhaps brooding: photos of Leonard, fragments of Leonard’s songs or other poetry presented in a way that illuminates rather than explains.
Who is behind Leonard Cohen’s Photo Blog? There’s no bio, no “about” page. Just a poll about favorite Cohen songs (maybe the writer’s favorites?) and a sponsorship benefiting suicide prevention services. A few weeks ago a commenter asked “Who and where are you? Can’t locate info,” and the answer was a cheerful but cryptic
- No one
waiting for the miracle to come
But I have one clue: the comment “leonardcohenphotos” left here. That leaves an IP address that I can try to run down. I don’t publish IP’s, especially from someone in the Middle East, but I don’t think it’s a violation of privacy to say I’m pretty sure it came from Iran. That brings to mind Dr Heckofaguy’s post about Iranian-born reporter Maziar Bahari, imprisoned and tortured after reporting on the Iranian election, and how he kept his sanity in prison with Leonard Cohen songs. (Here is the Newsweek article; a CBC video interview here–Bahari discusses Cohen at about 18:00.)
So, anyway, if you’re a Cohen fan, check out the photoblog. It’s sort of like opening a book and finding yourself at a page that unfolds into a huge map.