Issue 16 · 2012




Lake Ontario, Cobourg,


by rob mclennan







the boardwalk; brick, in fact,

no boards at all


         the late George & Annie Page

         convene cold stone;


         sketch, field’s withered canvas


a curiosity, a wash


green, blue, orange, red,

amid elections


         all is testimony; dark

         ; her gaze, daily


where burst to fill,

a toe-tag green


         yellow brick; goodbye, Oasis,

         this shifting fit of houses,


blue sky; where may appear

a drop of blood








swollen beach-head;



         containing multiples,

         from Christine’s fountain pen,


         every living thing,


their affection was so young

but slowly aged; matured,


in point of fact


a trembling, ghostly face,


         machines that maintain

         further machines,


         computer print-out heat-curled,

         chemistry, a distant


freight train; laced with coal,


you are at the end of this

, you can write this down








if this was England,

their highway bread


& butter,


         a vapour trail; a wet flame pulse

         , concealed absorption


I’m sick of absolution,

brittle fog, a caustic breath,


we were always driving

driving somewhere,


where wind cuts through the skies,

to let her beauty rise,


         born & married, Ramsgate,

         landing Cobourg, 1907


         , a century’s breath,


the pleasures of the page,








the book of Ontario silence, marked

by sweetness,


a century of tart,


         to resurrect aspiration, blue-toned,

         impulse could be landed,


         a heritage-harbour,


designed to rattle; gravestones

downhill mark


white columns, chapel


to exist, a granule

of crucial gray, wash out


or make anew,


         spring; out of this long, dark winter


         I step into her palm,










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 are the poetry collections Songs for little sleep, (Obvious Epiphanies, 2012), grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2012), A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011) and kate street (Moira, 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