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This report is taken from PN Review 156, Volume 30 Number 4, March - April 2004.

Toronto'd Marius Kociejowski

On the train from Montreal to Toronto I fell into conversation with a lawyer who told me that he had just recently fallen in love for the first time. This would seem a bit late for a man in his mid fifties and also, because I'm given to reserve, it struck me as premature of him to have dropped such a nugget into the first five minutes of an acquaintance. I am, however, the deadly carrier of a thousand secrets, most of them entrusted to me by people I meet but once. I must have some kind of face. The lawyer wore a patterned shirt with wide sleeves. I wondered about the ex-wife he mentioned some minutes later, whether he had ever been in love with her. Stendhal has much to say about love's illusions, whereas this man merely winced, as if he had bitten through a wormed apple. Why was I going to Toronto, he asked me. I said I was giving a poetry reading there. `Well, well,' he said, `I just wrote a poem, my first ever, which I gave to Anne.' (Anne is not, of course, her real name.) Anne then showed it to her best friend, Susie, a move that raised, in the lawyer's mind, some question as to whether a poem could be allowed to enter the public domain without infringing intellectual copyright. I urged him not to sue, explaining that he had just doubled his readership, which was more than I had done. ...


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