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Collaboration suite…

November 21, 2010

One long afternoon as I lay on my bed wrapped in my blanket,

it occurred to me that the tapping I was hearing was too unvarying to be rodents…

I reached out a hand and tapped on the pipe that connected my cot to the wall…

I immediately received a response in kind…

I tapped again—

twice this time—

and the same thing happened…

I sat up now,


A series of taps followed…

I listened carefully with surging excitement to the pattern that emerged…

It was an alphabet,

I realized,

and by the end of that afternoon I had learned a new alphabet that,

like any alphabet,

was a key to an entire new world whose gates now lay open before me…

— in your mouth is lovely by Nancy Richler

A couple of weeks ago,

in our version of pubnight,

we watched Hockey Night in Canada,

on a MacBook,

while eating nachos,

and buffalo wings,

with root beer floats…

Starshine said,

I wouldn’t want to do this every day,

because it would take the specialness of it away…

But there’s something really comforting,

about eating dinner while watching the Canucks,

on a Saturday evening…

Little Gem backed things up,

with her own telegram…


you should really hang,

your Canucks calendar,

up on the wall,

close by…

So you can keep an eye on it,

at all times…


my neighbour from across the street,

knocked at the door,

presenting a set,

of commemorative stamps,

featuring moving holograms,

of Richard,


and La Fleur,

which honour,

100 years,

of hockey history…

She said,

Save these for the future…

To pass on to your children…

Hockey shifts in,

and out,

of my frame of reference…

And the movement,

is dictated,

by something,


a migration,

of monarchs…

I’m not big into parties,

but when an old acquaintance,

called to invite me,

to her husband’s fiftieth,

and upon hearing my hesitation,

spoke directly to my first brain,


There’s going to be a raw oyster bar,

I was there,

like dirty shirt…

I learned a lot last night,

as a young man,

worked his knife,

severing abductor muscles,

in the reveal,

of those Fanny Bay’s…

He offered,

a reading,

of the flesh,

before handing over,

each quivering body,

with a squirt of lemon…

As much as I enjoyed,

sliding those mollusks,

off the shell,

right down the hatch,

I was more humoured,

by each little story,

that went along with it…

See this one???

It’s a Goldilocks…

Not to big,

not too small,

but just right…

We’ve been conditioned,

into thinking,

that our bodies,


at the edge of our skin…

A couple of summers ago,

Starshine went to camp for week,

and it wasn’t until some months later,

that I heard her run,

a pod of orcas,

along a time line,

with the memorization,

of a different kind,

of grammar…

She said,

When I was at camp,

we went canoeing one day,

in the middle of the afternoon…

It was really windy,

and there were big waves…

We were returning from a paddle,

to an island,

where we’d gone for lunch…

The leaders were already,

way ahead of us,

on the shore,

because one of them got a rock,

in his eye,

and had to go to the hospital…

I was terrified,

and I didn’t know what to do,

because I felt like the canoe wasn’t getting anywhere,

and we were going to capsize…

I started to cry,

and then all of a sudden I felt you,

and a calm came over me…

Then I knew exactly what I had to do…

I told the other girl in the boat,

that she needed to steer us,

straight into the waves…

Once she did that,

we paddled hard,

and we made it…

Of course,

being a safety freak and all,

when I hear things,

about two girls,

ages ten,

and eleven,

with no experience,

in a canoe,

allowed out onto open water,

in afternoon thermals,

I immediately shape shift,

into a raging bull…

But Starshine quickly caught my attention,

with her red cape,


you don’t need to get all excited…

Because obviously,

since I’m sitting here,

everything ended up just fine…

I’m only telling you this,

so that you know,

that even when we’re far apart,

I can still feel you,

all around me…

Helping me,

when I need it…

After last night’s,


of the Canucks,

by the Blackhawks,

I sent Alain Vigneault,

some post script,

about bringing me in,

for silent consultation,

purely for the intents,

and purposes,

of consolidating,

group mind


just like every third person,

in this city,

I want a Stanley Cup…

And like everyone else on the team,

I’m willing to work,

to do my part,

in the creation,

of new coastal history…

I ain't cut out to climb high line poles... (photo: Starshine)

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