Three poems for knife│fork│book

rob mclennan


A resistance, stocked. Within these walls,
enough to flood Spadina’s passage,

each nineteenth-century window. Speak to me
of the principled stance. And the conviction that wisdom

lies in books.

The Bellevue Estate of George Taylor Denison,
one hundred acres

of interjection: a low-rise marketplace
of patterned shops and grocery,

this brightly-coloured quilt.

André du Bouchet: I will repeat myself
like earth you tread.


Gadding, smalls. This spare notebook leads
to highways, alleys, loops

of cellular, broadcast. Cold knowledge,

passion; a poem

might pronounce in shadow, lifts; the transparency
of disappeared. A stream of fluent,

bewildered power. Signaled, as

an array
you may further wish to investigate.


Toronto neither New York nor Vancouver. Two hundred kilometres
of Yonge Street, percolating north. A dark crease

astride a labyrinth; the pure altitude
of shuttered pines, these rows

of automobiles. Amid a lineage of care and careful lines,

a carless gait, a lyric hearth,
a book-safe space. Kirby beckons,

here: the day agrees. Chemists recognize,

the compounds lignin and cellulose: observed in dusty classics,
coffee, and chocolate. As books ferment, release

a similar comfort, scent. A poem’s worth.

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 include the forthcoming poetry titles Household items (Salmon Poetry, 2019) and A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019).

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