from THE BOOK OF SMALLER

The President’s House is empty

Corollary. Endured, a whitewash. Literally. A golem’s chance. Not just him, though you have marked. Resist! Is neither obsolete. We will not fall. An empty chamber, fueled. All strapped. Collective impulse, impulse, falsehood. Airbrushed, pitch. Convulsed. An east wind, furthers. Contradicts. This area, distorts. An oval rounds out, shimmers; misshapes. Bends. Such will. A hundred thousand hopes subject to fail.

The Prime Minister’s House is empty

The closest renovation. Upgrade. The great white hope. Façade. Gorffwysfa. Do designations matter? Set foot, first. Of rest, and residence. A clear day. Fluid dynamics; a basic foundation. The art of weaving. Hallowe’en. Will never accede to the body. Scaffolding. A bureaucratic, function. Cottage. Reconcile, please. For real. Be truth. They drain the pool.

Forty-seventh birthday

My annual nod, to origins. Pixilate. Birth mother: does she think of me? Ancillary. The compass hand. Water, such a fine conductor. Diction, sketchbook, herringbone. How we have each contributed to the meanings of words. If age a power source, of wisdom. Hardly. What’s that? Speak up, the cover band a set list. Don’t worry about all the problems in the world right now. Overheard: I love Tom Petty. A note that ends in tragedy. I think I finally understand. We have chicken wings, at least.

Self-portrait, extant

Exhaustion sets in. Accelerated meaning. By too lean a mix. True, that. Am I not human? Green is the news. A narrative beckons. Absolute. Crossing a surface. Blood in the water. What I can relate to. Hard-core. What is interesting, conceptually. The universe: folds, and unfolds. We pretend we’re the centre. We have to. Take every precaution. Don’t cry. Our tomatoes, abundant. Despite our best efforts. Hold on. Hold. Listen. There was a light inside that. One can’t help but notice.

It’s still winter

Children sketch. Disarticulate. Endless paper and crayons. They laugh, pattern. Stick-figured time. Parent, where gravity is strongest. A lightness of offspring. A weight, sometimes. Simple wear. Become our own parents. Cyclical. Curve, in the shape of reckless exhaustion. Curve to the floor.

Wing, an ideal place for/after Deborah Poe

I don’t wish to alarm. The laundry, inelegant. I am on edge. My love was deep and therefore. One looks north and south and north again. Jellyfish: draw me your border. We lose electoral faith. Different is not the same. Two-handled, grasp. It fathoms. A shadow won’t translate; you have to speak its language. Birdsong, fabric. Thirty pages of liquid. Wings: if we’ve each but one, should we hold hands.

On minimalism

Compactness breeds

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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 titles include the poetry collection A perimeter (New Star Books, 2016), and the forthcoming How the alphabet was made (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018) and Household items (Salmon Poetry, 2018). 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