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Blood Culture: In Memoriam Robert Kroetsch

Blood Culture

In Memoriam Robert Kroetsch
(26 June 1927 – 21 June 2011)

by Leonard Cohen and Judith Fitzgerald

Night comes quietly when you discover the simplest
of light lifting its wings to block the carnage.

How do you manage these broken days?
Can you believe what happened with the riotous?

You knew something got lost in the translation
so you stole that language, that lexicon, the only life

Capable of proving none exists except as converts
to some thing or other, lists magnificent or mundane,

Knew what lay in waiting for those western stars fading
against the unforgiving intrusion of what happens

When comets or catastrophes ricochet above the screech
—Or, do we mean roaring?—All nor nothing, just like that.

Amen.

26 June 2011
(Originally appeared in The Globe and Mail’s website; revised version here with the permission of the authors.)