For rob mclennan, poetry is a way of seeing, and what is seen in harvest: a book of signifiers is always a landscape as it inhabits the poet and his various personae. In the absence of capital letters, with only minimalist punctuation, and with a denial of the possessive case, (all formal signifiers of precedence and ownership), these poems do not appropriate the landscapes of their gaze, but rather liberate them.
What is harvested here are the signifiers for journeys: tickets, postcards, letters?recording unseemly haste, enforced idleness, losing one’s way, and sometimes finding it again. All coloured in the deceptive hues of a populist and egalitarian style, these poems are allowed to signify their own powerful and at times devastating ambiguities, from ?a magic more elusive than any spell she whispered” to ?the salt waste left by the flood, where no seed grows. ”
the present is a small thing & moves very fast
in the same river, which as they say,
moves. it takes
& takes & takes. a polaroid
rob mclennan is the author of some two dozen trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, won the CAA/Air Canada Prize in 1999, the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2013. He has edited collections for numerous presses, including YOU AND YOUR BRIGHT IDEAS: NEW MONTREAL WRITING (w/ Andy Brown, Vehicule Press, 2001), side/lines: A New Canadian Poetics (Insomniac Press, 2002), evergreen:six new poets (Black Moss Press, 2002), Decalogue: Ten Ottawa Poets (Chaudiere Books, 2006), Decalogue 2: Ten Ottawa Fiction Writers (Chaudiere Books, 2007) and the forthcoming Nebulous medicine: the essays, statements and reviews of Andrew Suknaski (Writer as Critic Series, NeWest Press, 2014).