As Purdy was dying of lung cancer, trailing behind him an oxygen tank, Victoria poet and friend Linda Rogers complimented him on his unusual civility towards his wife. “Of course,” he replied. “She controls the oxygen.” In bed, he reviewed possible cover photos for his posthumous collection. "I think it should be a photo of my ass," Rogers thought she heard him say. "Well," she replied, “any picture will do then. They’re all images of an ass." Whereupon Purdy rose up, collected his breath and showed Rogers his fist. "Ashes!" he shouted, “My ashes!
Al Purdy’s A-Frame:
Our favourite Linda Rogers quote: ““Because there are so many ways of looking at a single blackbird, there are infinite versions of the truth, all of them potential lies.”