Leonard Cohen’s final poetry book The Flame features a poem titled “Kanye West Is Not Picasso,” and for the posthumous collection’s audiobook, actor Michael Shannon recites the work.
Cohen penned the poem on March 15th, 2015, with the rock laureate wrote, “Kanye West is not Picasso / I am Picasso / Kanye West is not Edison / I am Edison / I am Tesla / Jay-Z is not the Dylan of anything / I’m the Dylan of anything / I’m the Kanye West of Kanye West / The Kanye West of the great bogus shift of bullshit culture.”
Shannon lends his unmistakable voice to the reading of “Kanye West is Not Picasso” for The Flame, which also features Seth Rogen, X’s John Doe, Will Patton, Margaret Atwood and more reciting the late singer’s work.
The Flame, out now, features mostly new material, according to the publisher, Canongate. Cohen’s former manager and the trustee of his estate, Robert Kory, said in a statement that completing The Flame was one of the artist’s main objectives prior to his death. He culled material from unpublished poems, selections from his notebooks that commented on “the flame and how our culture threatened its extinction.”
Cohen’s son Adam recently revealed that a posthumous Leonard Cohen album is in the works for a 2019 release. “To make a long story short, I believe that there are some really beautiful new songs of Leonard Cohen that no one’s heard that are at some point going to come out,” Adam Cohen said in September.