The message is that there is no message.
     You can't live forever on resentment.
          - John Newlove, “White Philharmonic Novels”

     Poetry is not derivative enough
          - Yunte Huang, Tinfish #13


a sure blade of heaven,
most statements enlighten

                   , passion-sent, belie
thought appropriate to light

an assent, crimping so
& careful

countless motifs teach
& temples

                  , mecca dream
though rising


from punctual wonder


hard rock engenders some

ying pertains youth

a veil over her two eyes,
over her mouth

what how & else would you
an intuitive, a wager

against against


this is a darkness
that crept the land

a romantic tension leads

blue a sun the orange holds
she peeks

blood orange noon, a sky
her fingers peel

now you care, the strength
of the stain

a dark is neither blue
nor black

i am ice across the stain
i am like a cat,


a long stutter under speech,
the white stretch of star

who can compete? white line
of jet exhaust


snow tires the basement

she says, ii wouldnt embarrass you

an earthquake over

an imprint of one against

                  , in provinces
of the same

a picture of the news reprinted
ten thousand times

a mullet

the kenyon agricultural society

its hard to say what endures

after aunt carol annes wake

where family meets, the kitchen

knowing its not translatable, a room
         full of water, aunts uncles a cousin
w/ hair down drinking tea, w/ her hair
never down

proximity is this, where we were
at the same, pair a toast
         & tales told, talk
of what happened, what
will happen next

on the phone a tumbler full
of twelve years, so good
         to see you good so awful, scenes
you hoped to avoid, you never
thought youd see, & pieces you never
         want to but you do,
you do

sixteen strings

the long & short of it,
what we adhere.

the tow-truck takes the bus
up steep incline.

but days before christmas,
the mind ejects.

would we go home for counting,
amid plus one more.

a room at the inn is hard
at the best of times.

what cant go back on.
whatever she said.

a parent is always & a child,

three drinks of cider
will not get you


        © rob mclennan 2004

rob mclennan lives in Ottawa, Canada's glorious capital city. The author of ten trade collections of poetry and multiple poetry chapbooks, he has published poetry, fiction and critical work in nine countries. The publisher of STANZAS magazine and above/ground press (the most active chapbook publisher in Canada) since they started in 1993, he also says many things on his clever blog