Trilobite is an arthropodologist's delight:
many bizarre creatures; no two alike.

from edgeless : letters,

rob mclennan

January 22

Cole Swensen: should something happen

to the heart.


a punctuation

based on elevation,

thin air. More buoyant

than I’ve seen you

. The composition

of a grain of sand. How mountains,

weather, artefacts of library archive. The needle

and the ink-stained press.

A cloud

of campfire sparks.

I work a desire

for an echo

beyond laundry,

that single, unbroken sentence.

Our young ladies

reclaim two-day-old snow, the distance

of arm’s reach

, introducing chorus

across this former

stark white surface.

January 23

Deep in the mountains

you write

about childbirth, preeclampsia

, and what twice

nearly killed you. A fugue

through which

one might ascertain

. You riff

on Downton Abbey’s Lady Sybil

Crawley, who chanced

the same path

you survived.

Monday morning: cellphone alarm

and the weight

of the future. Our two

begin breakfast, teeth, fresh clothes


our shallow disruptions.

The story

of the story

of a dawn

that arises, pre-dawn. The body

should not be forced.

January 24

Yesterday, the letters

our daughters composed

landed safe, at your studio. This Canada Post distance

a full

week. Last night,

the musicians, you suspect

, that kept you awake,

their talk

through adjoining walls. You

are in Banff

writing poems, I

remain in our bedroom

, looking west, seeking out

the source of this chill. Today these words


from underneath the particles

of cat dander, school lunches, recycling. This infinite cycle

of restless calm. It is the only way

I can possibly work.

January 25

What peck of dirt

to regulate vowels;

the ability to live

line by line, a punctuation

of laundry, dishes, litter, groceries. Daily duo

of school lunches.

Robert Kroetsch: Part of living together

is the allowing

for repetition. What peck of dirt, under

new snow. This list

of dead leaves

, scraped

beyond the plow’s blade.

First thing: walking heavy

upon frozen ground.

January 26

This morning, the relief

of a snow day: buses cancelled,

I return to bed.

January 27

A half-brother I’ve met only once

invites me

to Vegas in May, for

a sibling weekend. Starting from fragments,

it is how

they assemble. Light-coloured pieces

set out

on dark soil.

When I say

what I write

is literal, this

is literal.

You fly home tomorrow, already

in Calgary, again. Having returned

down the foothills. I can tell you, geography

is meaningless.

Your absence, reduced

to simple binary: you

are not here.

January 28


from one edge of the continent

you soar.

The heart absorbs surfaces, heat. As you rise,

to draw

an ink-white sentence, blue.


are facing east, east, this passage

of things in air

like water, diction. Incertitude,

and astonishment. And now,

we load into the car

to greet you.