Five poems for The Pi Review
Hypothetical: the distance
a poem may travel. Margins spill, a flock
of miniature birds
One speaks to the long journey
and the short flight, the position
of the sacred. How far
and at what pace.
To include everyone, one must leave behind
this entire world.
One speaks of positives, options; a way
back home. A pandemic
of misspelled options.
Picture the lily. Filament, labyrinth, treacle. Vines
parry, jostle, pick apart
the bonds. A brick wall, groans
against the pleasure
of a single seed.
I can tell you
When we say forever, we do not mean
without end. We have been here,
but at one point, we
were somewhere else. The limitations
of a single myth. I am airplane,
clipper. The sedentary rudiments
of layered rubble.
Picture the house. These hands
are spilling. Rise up, gather. A concordance
of flowers, stone, abandoned clothes, his
errant speculations. I am not
your noun, your verb, your
action word. It is
impossible to write. My father’s texts
have reached their end.
Four poems for Spacecraftprojects
In the beginning was the imagination, the classic enemy
of boredom. A lavish absence
of artificial light.
Can I see stars? Do I know English? Stories, away
from the semantic charge.
A revelation, visually
in place, in space. A fixed act, sequence
of discarded scraps.
Imagine: once we looked up, without
the thought of force.
To determine we are horizontal
in the language. Perceiving only dots
across horizon-line. They say to realize
is to unearth. Is ours a measure
to reach beyond
for improvement or ruin? Warm hands, pulling hot
and cold dead planets
down to where we drown.
If this a means. A means
Shadow shapes itself, provides
a deeper shadow. If one aligns, perhaps,
a different order: Saturn, Mercury, Ganymede. Fly me
to the moon. Firmly focused
on infinity. Mark the first word, and the first
in space. These foreign bodies, exile. Formed
by rhythm, language. Changed,
for the viewing. No matter what we do,
obsessions rise, and coat
the surface of this inquiry.
To shift a little distance. The children flutter,
decorate their bedroom door with scraps of paper,
carving stars and planets, birthday hearts,
writing out their names. All I want to do
Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. His most recent poetry titles include A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019) and Life sentence, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019), with a further poetry title, the book of smaller, forthcoming from University of Calgary Press. An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics and Touch the Donkey. He is editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta.