no cage contains a stare that well
(ECW Press: Toronto, 2005)
The legendary Terry Sawchuk is said to have kept parts of himself in jars: one for teeth, one for bone chips, and another for his appendix. no cage contains a stare that well is jarring in much the same way. Each poem in this collection is a self-contained vessel in which a distinct bit of our national game – a player or a fight, a save or a goal, an injury or a regret – is preserved; mementos cross-cut into countless sheets of ice. Often dark and brooding, this book offers a league of gloomy characters: a spiteful Zamboni driver and a nearly blinded beer-leaguer; a maimed minor-hockey coach and that over-bearing hockey dad you’ve heard in the rink. These are poems about hockey – shifting their way through the game, its characters, images, and passions. no cage contains a stare that well is like an impossible glove save in overtime – exulting in the game while examining the darker, musty corners of its locker rooms. But these poems speak to life off-ice as well: to how we know what we know, how we feel what we feel, and how we win or lose.