POETRY: ROB MCLENNAN
FOUR POEMS FOR TREES
Across this formal pleasure,
horizon contours mountain range:
sawmill, birdsong, lodgepole. Spilled
into my voice. Declarations of heartfelt territory
lost among these splintered branches.
Frank O’Hara’s subway,
and his blade of grass.
Transplanting monkey puzzle. Prolonged,
a coastline errant. Ponderosa. Sechelt, breeze.
This sentence of foliage
reflects our complexities: such clear
and exposed. Abstraction, stripped excess
of tree-stubble. What season
of nouns. Audre Lorde: There is
no separate survival.
Where my limbs meet yours, a poem
as a brick.
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 (periodicityjournal.blogspot.com) and Touch the Donkey (touchthedonkey.blogspot.com). He is editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. In spring 2020, he won ‘best pandemic beard’ from Coach House Books via Twitter, of which he is extremely proud (and mentions constantly). 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 robmclennan.blogspot.com
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