One humid night in August, Dennis Lee dreamed that there was a street party in the Annex. People milled about in the middle of the road, chatting and drinking under the giant oaks. There were familiar faces in that crowd: Peg, Steve and Paul; he could see bpNichol’s wild smile and the full moon of Gwendolyn MacEwen’s round cheeks. But the poet was filled with a terrible sense of foreboding. And before he shared it with anyone, it was already too late.In an instant, all the houses came to life. Old Victorian homes rose up off their foundations in a shower of red brick and sod. They lunged into the street, the ground pitching violently under their weight. People scattered and fled, abandoned glasses shattering on the pavement behind them, but in vain. Everywhere they turned, another black doorway swooped down, twisted wide and toothless, hungry. One by one they disappeared behind slamming doors. Thick, fleshy curtains lapped up pools of blood and red wine. Windowsills chewed on broken glass.
When it was over, and all of the houses had lumbered back into place, the street was quiet and still. So, as a new crowd formed, delighted to find unfinished drinks and half-eaten sandwiches, the poet’s warnings seemed like the ravings of a madman: nothing to fear at all.