Wednesday, December 28, 2011

rob mclennan, “Subject”

rob mclennan


it's not that he died
it's that he won't stop
                        Jon Woodward, Rain


rounding vowels; a vanishing eye,

voicing; perpendicular lines,
sleep the vast plains,

a temporal musk,

my own to speak; a means
of other means,

the heart pays close attention
to the frame,

thin, roping twist,

is guaranteed,

to love, love, love,
the great endings,

right or wrong,

what is to know,


a recent hurricane; introduced
a discourse,

this crucial fact, ideas

what we face
are simply doors,

shivered; ordinary,
forged with molecules,

enacting, heedless,
citing attribution,

a question, sugar-formed

fighting an anachronism,

a social promise
etched in language,

, this season
of floods,

can hear
the starlings swerve,


some words I know:

of white space,


a spate of address,
now addressing,


someone else,

stories placed so,
so; a garden,


to start is somewhere
of a certain mind,

an ocean,


contain, or thus,

aware of light,
or like

a canvas would not sing,

murmur, weakly, widely,

silence ever
just takes place,

encroaching air

extends, how far,
at once,

spring cleaning:
you must write this

, you must leave home


behind her own voice,
icicle; forgets the body

, mouth a tarnished wheel

sling of prophecies, forget
courtship, comprehension,

dark stain on a lung,
inky print,

in biological time

, great distances

is next-door sweet,
is perfume,

wave a point, a reference,
, admonishments

a dislocated finger,


index: phantom aesthetic,
do you think there's such a thing

rhythm, rhythm, song
, this flood

textures of a vice,

a human voice: reluctant,
contour narratives,

a mouse-tongue,
soft, and sweet

an earthen twist,

death is matter, matter, not
the moments,

speculative use,

what do we know,
we lose,

one thing, another

words: we overflow,


Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa.  The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles include the poetry collections A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011) and Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011), and a second novel, missing persons (2009).  An editor and publisher, he runs above / ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater (  He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at
RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture,, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume 5 (2011): Disappearance

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