Luna Moth and Other Poems

Description

82 pages
$14.95
ISBN 0-919688-91-8
DDC C811'.54

Publisher

Year

2004

Contributor

Ronald Charles Epstein is a Toronto-based freelance writer and published poet.

Review

Steve Luxton established his position in Quebec literature as the
original editor of both Matrix and The Moosehead Review, two of that
province’s best-known English-language literary magazines. Luxton has
been a published author since 1987.

This poet tackles the topical with creative enthusiasm. “Letter of
Support to a Beleaguered American President” is a backhanded
compliment aimed at Bill Clinton. He treats his infamous sexual scandal
with ersatz compassion, noting that “Life is full of disappointment, /
Particularly for the brilliant, / Humble of origin, and pudgy.” He
brands the 1990s icon as the hero of “early-dotage yuppies / Secretly
revelling in your flaws.” Clinton would rather be known as the Chief
Executive who revitalized the U.S. economy, but this poem reinforces a
sad cultural truth—we remember politicians for their embarrassing
scandals.

“Guided Tour of the JFK Presidential Assassination Theme Park”
succeeds because America’s public relations efforts have failed. Its
dark humour appeals to readers who view Americans as tasteless and
greedy. Such people may endorse the concept of the site of the 1963
murder as a Disneyland that allows the visitor to become a “Fantasy
assassin.” Luxton’s nightmarish visions may only exaggerate our
secret demons. Are the imaginary spectators who aspire to be Lee Harvey
Oswald much different from the tourists who play pioneer by riding
wagons in Fort Edmonton Park?

The author studies distorted values in “Rogue Affinities.” He
points out that although Hermann Goering was a convicted war criminal,
his American guard enabled him to cheat the hangman because they shared
epicurean tastes. Ordinary people curse common stupidity; the perceptive
damn moral obtuseness.

The poet’s failures include “Burger Joint Sex Fantasy,” a greasy
mess. Such bungling should not sink this book, however; Luxton offers
the liveliest contemporary verse.

Citation

Luxton, Steve., “Luna Moth and Other Poems,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 13, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31162.