Song of the Week: “Chelsea Hotel No. 2″ by Leonard Cohen

I met Leonard Cohen once, by chance. It was here, on the streets of our city. I’ve written a poem about him too. “Oh Leonard, do not make me suffer. Just tell me how it feels to have the world under your pen…” That was back in the days when I wrote poems. I’ve taken a photo of a look-alike, which I have titled, “Leonard.” It could have been him, but it wasn’t. He just won’t stay out of my life. He is a reoccurring theme. The Chelsea Hotel has fascinated me for a long time too. What it must have been like to have been Leonard there in the 60’s on that unmade bed, or Joni or Patti or Robert. In this song I also share something with Leonard. It’s in that harsh final line. We’ve both tried to forget past loves in this way. I’ve tried that line. Perhaps I’ve even sung it also. And, like Leonard, I know it’s bullshit.

-Michael Ernest Sweet

Michael Ernest Sweet
is an award-winning educator, writer and photographer. His first published collection of street photography is forthcoming in late 2013 from Brooklyn Arts Press. Michael divides his time between Montreal and New York City. Michael can be found online at or follow him on Twitter @28mmphotos.

Photo by Maeghan Donohue

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