Four poems for Word on the Streetby rob mclennanabove/ground press broadside #348
Sunday, September 22, 2019
“poem” broadside #348 : “Four poems for Word on the Street” by rob mclennan
A Sunday morning at Harbourfront Centre
in September. An atmosphere
at a glance: these fruit
the size of demons. Book bins, booths
and gift bags. Costumed, Clifford
the Big Red Dog reduced
the Man-Sized Dog. Out of this wildness,
an urban discourse, burghal;
abundant, and strangely benevolent.
Canadian casual, based
on systematic practice: authors, authors,
publicists, booksellers. The inquisition
of our limits.
Our northern backdrop: sailboats breeze,
and airplanes alternately lower, rise
from man-made islands, stenciled across
a bickering of contrails.
Harbourfront Centre: an organization
three days older
than my eldest daughter. Now,
these literary market stalls, steeped
of deliberate fill. The foot
of Lower Simcoe
extending three or four blocks
from original shoreline, lands
that long housed
industrial patter, planning, port.
Today, the printed word
on paper: a human object as obscure
as shadow play, or silver stain
on medieval glass.
You are the universe, pretending
to be a great lake ; a calm
of blizzard blue, cerulean,
across this glacial basin.
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, his most recent poetry titles include A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019) and Life sentence, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics (ottawater.com/seventeenseconds), Touch the Donkey (touchthedonkey.blogspot.com) and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater (ottawater.com). He is “Interviews Editor” at Queen Mob’s Teahouse, editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. He egularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at robmclennan.blogspot.com