Saturday, December 4, 2010



It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

-Leonard Cohen


Laurence Holden said...

"Coyote Installs Democracy"by Lewis Hyde

President George W. Bush ordered his troops not to defecate until the end of the War. Coyote ignored this order. Coyote took a big dump in the Abu Ghraib prison. Coyote deprived his turds of sleep and interrogated them to find the true source of terror. Coyote’s turds turned into digital images and circled the globe. President George W. Bush said “Those are not the real American turds. The real American turds are the friends of freedom.” Behind the white doors of the White House the President lay on his bed dreaming the dream of Preemptive Good. This irritated Coyote, who smeared the President’s sheets with dog shit. President George W. Bush ran from the White House, crying “I have soiled myself! I have soiled myself!” The Secret Service felt ashamed and went to share their tobacco with other government agencies. Coyote sneaked into the basement of the White House where he found the swimming pool that held the Waters of Democracy, hidden there since the days when Andrew Jackson made it so difficult for Seminole Indians to vote in the state of Florida. Coyote drank long and deep from the Waters of Democracy. When Coyote’s bladder was full he went on his way, marking the trail.

-- May 2004, Sapporo, Japan

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope not, the prospect of democracy terrifies me.

The Constitution defines a federal republic; its goal was to preserve individual rights and liberty, not to maximize popular sovreignty.