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   Jacket 31 — October 2006        link Jacket 31 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

rob mclennan

Four poems

a note for andy

report alive, successive; scottish castles
            west before toronto-score
a central husk; a cartoon scene
                                    of being alive; ghazal-like
would make of debt-load, couplets, student-loaned
, transparent as the shade
                                                what does it?
married life is fool & envy
from outside; vision thinned, restorative

an office w/ a polar view
                                    its time we held
a better revolution, arc a city out
in frightening reserve
            of drink & cars & cars & drink
& vernon, british columbia
& whyte strathcona tavern, successive plant
                        & supplant, pens we wasted

& no one else as organized to leave it

a note for all the other notes
that dont get sent, or written yet

                        a bad attitude & a bald head
, the back of hands; that isnt developed

on both of us either

a valentine for amanda

so present & so personal; construction burns
misnomer name, a motorcycle helm, the patty
            duke show; the stuff we retain
                                                 (is mostly water)
would land a stack in shadow, distracted simply
couldnt cure
                        furniture isnt everything
a moneyed ramble takes its toll

a light bare basis; in the background
fried domestic, new lover & a casserole
missing tricks
                        of speed & sleeve, I havent
said eternal, broken blue-lead glass
umbrella walls in hand
            & sexsmith, ron; a happy page
of breeding my space life

if cant seduce, she says, I may as well amuse

or doing so, a fragile bruise of scorched earth
morning glimpses through

: four corners of the real

an apology for ann-marie

what you always said you wanted; needle red,
a guinness, leonard cohen; tequila thirds,
cranberry sweet & seven-up; my best
            & only, first; that you would contribute
struck powerlines, despair built out of straw
& wood, & brass tax, vigour out
                                    of hard stone; mention
never could be mentioned; an island, red
& sand for counting,
                                                suddenly real
glen norman made from thinking
                                                            & absorbed
into your limbness, limits

where; a tribute made to afternoon & evenings,
trembled hard-wired body warm
                                                & insect only
            in sheer determination

the crack & thistle glowing lily orange
in two hands, a dollar month
                        or six short weeks

you didnt say a word

has further gone w/ less or more than never-wrong

a supplement for phil

repeating bears; the shift-work switch
& unencumbered
            , shouting, corn, one contemplative spin
go harkened under; engines stop & swoon,
a neighbour turned in fine tails
                        questions named; why falls
the piece world otherwise, never seemed
or soon
                                    or broke by being

nervous thunderclap of straw or hammer,
clawhammer banjo, listening out
            to form a thrill of town & thistle
our cravings mark; birds repeating birds
                        in window, wind

what nothing could combine, collect or steal
reversed themselves
                                    almost exactly
            & alternating

composing writing notes: or would in turn

the limited-use double negative dub

rob mclennan photo by Charles Earl

rob mclennan
photo by Charles Earl

these poems are dedicated to (in order): Weaver, Earl, Seguin and Hall.

Born in Ottawa, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of over a dozen poetry collections including name   , an errant (England: Stride, 2006), aubade (Canada: Broken Jaw Press, 2006), The Ottawa City Project (Canada: Chaudiere Books, 2007) and a compact of words (Ireland, Salmon Publishing, 2007), he has edited a number of anthologies and other collections, and currently edits the online Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater (, the online critical journal (with Stephen Brockwell,, and posts regularly on his clever blog: A collection of his literary essays is due in fall 2007 with Canadian publisher ECW Press.