Wednesday, March 21, 2018

“poem” broadside #343 : “IT'S WINTER IN OTTAWA” by John Newlove


The streets are full of overweight corporals,
of sad grey computer captains, the impedimentia
of a capital city, struggling through the snow.

There is a cold gel on my belly, an instrument
is stroking it incisively, the machine
in the half-lit room is scribbling my future.

It is not illegal to be unhappy.
A shadowy technician says alternately,
Breathe, and, You may stop now.
It is not illegal to be unhappy.

by John Newlove
produced in part as a handout during the first
Arc Poetry Walk, curated and hosted by rob mclennan,
walking around Centretown as part of WORLD POETRY DAY,
March 21, 2018
above/ground press broadside #343

Canadian lyric poet John Newlove (1938-2003) has been called a “powerfully influential presence” in the Canadian poetry scene, and is respected for the scrupulous honestly of his bare-bones poetics. And although Newlove lived in BC and Ontario for much of his life, he was always considered a Saskatchewan poet. He lived in Ottawa for seventeen years, longer than he lived anywhere, residing at 105 Rochester Street in Chinatown until his death.

edited by Robert McTavish; Ottawa ON: Chaudiere Books, 2007
Courtesy of Chaudiere Books

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