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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Montreal Milton Acorn poem by Katharine Beeman

Choices for the evening

      "Milton Acorn
       1923 to 1986
        A tribute
  Bring a cushion - Free"

"Classic - Solidarity Night
    A struggle not to be abandoned
  ...could be the elimination of jobs
 throughout the Canadian book industry"

  This, Milt,
  is where you would have been,
  not at your own wake -
  The Spectrum, swelling with jazz, with rock, with rap
  with mini-skirts and black tights
  over union asses

  Working people out on a bash
  to dance solidarity into the bosses' heads
  a thousand francophones strong for a
  small anglo syndicat

  is where you would
  have been, Milt,
  hoisting a few
  with an eye to love and struggle

  and oh we shouted love
  Milt, with our fists
  in the air and stamping
  our feet, like poets and wolves
  we howled, love
  love lllooovvveee
  so's even you could hear
  all the way back a month ago
  before you were underground.

  and when I got home, Milt,
  I opened your book
  given me by a friend
  some years ago -
  you might remember him, Stu's
  his name, a long tall Trot,
  one of those drinking companions
  when you were
  or weren't drinking alone

  and inside I found
  left where I hadn't left
  off, on the back of a bookmark
  I didn't remember
  "should you ever wish to dig him up -
  let me know"

  Well, Milt,
  I was going to visit next week
  but I guess I left it too long
  (I never thought, all that life
  and you only sixty-three)

  Now you share the ground
  with Villon
            and with Brecht

  There's choices all the time
  worms may rot the jackpine
  but never his scarlet song.

Katharine Beeman

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On Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 11:26 AM, Chris Faiers <> wrote:

Many, many thanks for sending this excellent poem, Katharine!   - powerful - Milt would have loved it (did love it in his underground lair!) ... it captures the essence of Milt & what he stood for & the people he wrote for.  Many thanks for sending this for his tribute book.

I'm forwarding this to the other members of the editorial team. Anna, please cache this & pass it on to Terry the next time you see him.

With your permission I'd like to post this poem on my blog. I've done this a few times previously to 'prime the pump' & stimulate people's memories for items on Milt. I'm sure there are a lot of other perfect poems & pieces out there which we haven't seen yet.

Thanks again for a heartfelt tribute to our old friend, mentor & comrade.

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... & Chase Wrffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff! (thanks for the hugs & pats - I need them more than ever in my old age - I'm 15 now, & starting to feel it!)

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