Thursday, January 05, 2006

For Irving Layton at 85, a poem by D. Gagnon

For Irving Layton at 85
by Donna Gagnon

he has a gift and space
this aging man of words
his brilliance shines
free of guilt and interruption

notebook in hand,
pencil balanced between fingers
and
licking his lips,
Irving sits outside, slumped deeply
in an old Muskoka chair
he worships God and breasts,
lust and skin;
produces endless songs of praise

Your country adores you
whispers each of his wives:
#1 from the kitchen,
#2 from the laundry,
#3 from above a hungry child,
#4 from the half-waxed entry floor
#5 from the bus station

but I cannot share this wonder, Irving,
because you refuse to share your self
with women

Irving's passing has sucked a tremendous amount of creative energy out of this country. He was a man unafraid of being himself. The torch has been passed.

8:08 AM

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