News: A short interview with Barry McKinnon - #4

2013-02-20 12:00:PM ago by jasmine.elliott

(Read part one, part two, and part three of rob mclennan's interview with Barry McKinnon.)

In the Millennium • Prince George (Part One)
for George Stanley

a man in himself is
a city
– (W.C.W)

beleaguered/belied      the entrance (himself,

    he enters

    in Hade's hot air


memory of that travel
 fear   to a sense of life ahead: the literal city

busted out  -  clearing forests/ water/ air

not form but    what


            the city     a body
to its
       soul -


town tribes -

in their source of
detachment, begin to be
themselves again -  hunt/

history, the millennial weight: no clear stream/or abode
                  these bulldozed souls

no pity or remorse   to equal what’s imagined

handouts on 3rd/ the giveaway suits
that clothe them.

oh forest, oh bear - vestigial illumination / the
             in simple light

they see


what do we see so clearly in its lack

to see without image / articulation    - a reason

malls fill/downtown empties /history (capital / frontier
without  human hope:  this is the end, we sing ( crows peck puke, buckles in the side walk/holes of asphalt, piles of blood


the man, the city - what parts in
the metaphor, this way of dreaming - is the heart a down
town? 1969: the routes (bakery, bread, meat
balls, a pickle and up 4th to
the Astoria (beer - to the Bay, the Northern, Wally West, I.B. Guest &
down to the corner - 2nd & George, the Canada, the blues,
            the sense of here/not here - this want of places to
be, enter & make


libraries are for loafers

no blame to local realities. nothing in the way of what doesn't exist,
in the simple mercantile presumptions

the smell of money - the brushcut hero who could make it

the local ethos: up
before the rest   went to bed   /   with his bulldozer.

 and in a dream of this world woke to

         every one/every thing: fuck or be fucked


man a city: the female forest -

to imagine the hard/the soft (winter, cycles to summer spring & fall
bleeding to the genderless human want of tenderness.

root hog or die

when a city becomes its coldest hearts
we live in the illusion of its habitat:

the invisible/visible: the city you see/ did good in

becomes an old cliché in the toxic mill cloud that fills the bowl
and drifts with the winds - a swirl of stink in the citizenry /penetrates the corpus while the corporate, that most visible as the source, least accounted for in the non-existent public square.

I can't breathe

a man must speak, to the threat dismissed, diminished,
coerced by need and want
to sing : they think they
do me   no harm.


the they. the who, the us in the disintegrated
       disintegration - nothing can be known; its own hopeless
statement - the north /everywhere (but not revealed -

in this   what? will we only know the hot day in mid
July 69 into the stink, the heat, the Fraser
bridge / 57 Plymouth packed,

I want to go back

to what humans imagine a version: here / the beer
& coming out of the Barn into that heavy light decide
that moment, to stay.

the apt/penthouse - top floor Trojan Manor $300.00

where do you think you're going? don’t want   youse types here.

moved to 1902 Queensway across from Marty’s Cafe (shack - 100 a month ( now    Assman's funeral

home -

the city: a world

you entered - sensed body/parts
missing in the civic need the forces disallow - & that called specious

what saves us - a clarity / conditions born of fog/

the love and  hate of uneasy
marriage (man/woman - a city unto themselves


what is the source of this thinking? ambiguity, contradiction
power, that hidden, conspiracies, pushed
buttons and cliché, until our bodies demotion to banishment.

     a shit hole.


when are you going to write something good?


its activity is also its own resistance: what
to say: what subject, or image - what body part contain
the life /   what weakness is strength when

the whole body vomits in nadir (the weakest
now culled once defined: a man vomits

in shame that now the city can not be made

this rotten  dark  soul, a man
a metaphor, a language convinced of its own rhetoric easily believed (men (the city
its self / fooled
by little stakes/little power (that those governed
men will thrust their outlines - will sacrifice the rest. will
save themselves
others (those sickest


at any scheme sabotaged by its own impossibility - know the inventors require such false faith and fear


the city exists / knows itself/ cannot change


oh corpus of belched noxious gas
oh corpus of the fruitless/oh corpus of malignment oh
generous corpus of the material world oh
industrial corpus behind the corpus oh corpus of the beautiful
& gentle wind oh corpus in our misaligned prayer oh corpus
of promise and care

oh grid of light, muscled male


stomp the tourists head into the walk - that part psycho
path - the city staggers in a hoedown dance/wild
in iconic illusion of how it sees itself - dressed
to kill any thing in sight


arms of the suburbs to father illusion: conglomerate homo unity: turns place /
to no place / same place
to exist only in our attempt to define it


(off Queensway embarrassment, then disgust - teen hookers to cross through

the riven world displayed by its line between: us
and them

little girls, the man, a city - /homeless


why did you stay?

the density of context peeled was revealed to a momentary
sense of simplicity, that it could be known, and therefore, the man
could know himself, being a city: unto himself, - its maps and routes, the air it breathed, capacious unbalance to imply the need for its
opposite: nothing to go on - knowledge without proof /its energy.

to work
a language in its attempt to equal
the anxious swirl in an angular world of charts, graphs - the
gizmoed patter claimed & believed as real - that any power required
subservience to its whacko notions, be revealed as public sense: not
agreement, but truth of ones condition faced: bloody head in its
second of consciousness under the killer’s boot - in metaphoric

be allowed to live.


in the city: Nechako, Fraser
    Husky, Canfor, PG Pulp, Northwood, Intercon, Lakeland, CN,
city core

     body is thought

through parking lot, plumes
/ trees,
/ polis / man

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles are the poetry collections Songs for little sleep, (Obvious Epiphanies, 2012), grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2012), A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011) and kate street (Moira, 2011), and a second novel, missing persons (2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), The Garneau Review, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater. He 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


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