With, arguably, one of the best poems on the luna moth available!
In his latest collection, Steve Luxton navigates the mid-passages, facing what his favourite character, the notorious Doc Holliday, terms "the wasting diseases: Life, sonofabitch Fate, Love." Pieces both lyrical and serio-comic weigh sickness and personal mortality, the death of a shell-shocked father, and the shenanigans of this Age's public life. In Luna Moth and Other Poems, the poet, by now well tutored in human fragility and frailty, discovers that being alive at all in this very odd world seems "stranger by far / than salvation or personal immortality." Nevertheless, though Fear may be "the only deity, first and last," Luxton also celebrates the deep beauty in the recesses of nature, and, redeemingly, "a little companionship." With both formal and experimental elements, these vividly figured, emotionally compelling poems tantalizingly sing and tartly satirize.
Born in Coventry, England, Steve Luxton lives in Montreal and also near Ayers Cliff in the rural Eastern Townships of Quebec. By profession a teacher, he works at John Abbott College and Concordia University in the city. An original editor of both Matrix and The Moosehead Review, his first completed book of poems the hills that pass by was published in 1987, and his second volume Iridium in 1993. Luna Moth and Other Poems is his third full collection.
"The book opens with a poem in which the son recalls an incident at the age of four: his father lifted him to the top of a seven-foot hedge and left him there for a while. The vertiginous experience was frightening, but it offered 'terror and delight' (what more could we want?) and the birth of a perspective on the whole world."
— The Montreal Review of Books,Spring & Summer 2005
"'Silver Whiskers' displays the figure of a dead mink found in a cedar hedge who 'waxes pharaoic'.... With the dead animal being viewed with such curious, respectful interest, the apt comparison is a credit to both pharoah and animal. "
— Books in Canada, October 2005
"Luxton can turn inward questingly when his own condition threatens to pin him as a butterfly is pinned..., and he embraces a natural world that will always hold sway among poets. Keenly conversational, Luxton's is a colloquial voice."
— Gazette, July 2005
"Luxton's incredulities at human habit and routine can be as light, as familiar as Doc Holliday's western spit, or dark as Hermann Goering's assisted suicide."
— U of T Quarterly , Winter 2006