Monday's Poem

Photo by Lainna El Jabi


Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of over a dozen trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles are the novella white (2007), the travel book Ottawa:The Unknown City (2008), the non-fiction titles subverting the lyric: essays (2008) and Alberta dispatch: interviews & writing from Edmonton (2008) and the poetry collection a compact of words (2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), (with Stephen Brockwell, and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He recently 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

© rob mclennan 2008

elgin street: a lisgar eclipse

   The earth refreshes itself by paving these days
                 — Barbara Guest

street is street known by what used
                     to be here

the old russell house theatre

the police station knows
                     where it is that you live

a park & a park & the bars
                     & the body shots

the juke box won't tell you her name

or maybe you dig through her purse
                     the next morning

or maybe you brave will just ask

catch her ring on the dresser

a line heading north up against to the river


if you were any closer you would be home

a parcel of books in the driveway

you open your window the patio strays

were you certain of themes?

did you know when to breathe?

a scene of such joy, or the lip
                     of slight promise

an opportune drink

the wind where syntactically dense

the waitress a hope to prevent a reoccurrence

(from "Ottawa: A Field Guide")