- Lenea is American, raised in Texas and Oklahoma, and she wrote this collection in New York, while studying at the New School
- Her poetry is influenced by her adventures across the country, people and landscape, and her attempts to find a balance between the hilarious and the heartbreaking
- Relatable and accessible, this collection is concerned with relationships between men and women, and with travel, music, and pop culture
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.34(d)|
About the Author
Lenea Grace's work has appeared in Best New Poets, The Fiddlehead, Washington Square Review, CV2, Riddle Fence, Grain, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of McGill University, University of Maine at Presque Isle, and The New School. Lenea is a founding editor of The Mackinac poetry magazine. She grew up in Texas and Oklahoma, spending her summers at Long Lake and John Island in northern Ontario. She lives in Gibsons, British Columbia.
Read an Excerpt
Poutine is a Québec delicacy.
Guy Lafleur never wore a helmet.
Margaret Trudeau hustled and bumped at Studio 54.
Oui, avec 24 Coupes Stanley, les Canadiens sont l'équipe la plus titrée de toute l'histoire de la LNH.
Leonard Cohen is from Montréal.
We pride ourselves on ars mosaica.
Our apologies melt into ore, kiss arse.
We're not British blue collar, but our great-grandparents were.
Alberta's got beef with Ontario.
In this Canada, we are not together.
Take a glass milk bottle and drop a lit match down the windowed shaft.
His pelvis will meet the opening, torso and limbs shoot east and west. Tap his left foot and he will spin,
He is no weathervane,
You cannot adjust these temperatures, outside and inside. You cannot stop reverse ignition. You will not tell him to jump. You will not watch. When it happens,
And it will happen.
necks, and shoulders.
Your friendship means a lot to me — no, really,
for sharing your daughter's first bowel movement.
another album of your cats.
must add up. There's a Kickstarter campaign for that, you know.
Too soon? Not soon enough?
your jaunt to Iceland exposed me to a whole new way of life —
Without you how could I dress myself up for Halloween — my closet of war bonnets and black pancake
makeup now sits stale. Without your guidance, I would not know what to eat for breakfast,
for lunch or dinner. Here we are always pontificating on eggs benny
slathered in hollandaise,
and desist. Where do you find the time for all these half-marathons
and vegan pizza parties?
in the same sentence?
Tell me how to react in 140 characters or less,
for your prayers,
in somewhere soon and the farmers' market closes in 15 minutes.
They used to serve us Chinese food — remember that Halloween spent on wontons and pints?
Steady as she goes, gents —
cargo — down sleeping bags and neon swim trunks, flats of water buried beneath no-name cheesies,
thawing under LaCloche sun — summer's gold suffers perennial eye-twitch, blinking in, blinking out
from behind cliffs and we glide heavy over skinny water —
fuelled by Carling Black Label or maybe gas fumes.
red pine walls, the screened porch facing west — long lazy legs and threadworn T-shirts spread out on rock ahead. You will stand,
crane forth, one arm waving in air thick with honeyed stereo surround sound —
Van Morrison's drift would stone you, oh the water, oh the water,
This body, I bear.
There is no thing between us.
Door Frame, Late Morning
Between tiles and faucets, here they are.
Oh when the saints go marching in Oh when the saints go marching in
Flat Tire in Vermilion Bay
Our trunk has sprawl,
of summer migrations,
lingers in our igloo cooler, the busted miracle cooler:
You emerge with cream sodas,
And we wear cowboy hats,
We don't sit coach in the Budd car. No,
charging through Thomson's boreal muse, tearing the national canvas —
on blasted shield —
the same ones that dot this rock basin —
growing louder, louder still until sound brushes steel branches —
The Brash Tides
I stripped the Atlantic bare,
collapsing, the tufts of fossil sands strewn over water, strained
through baleen lips, oh the exposed things,
such sediments forth, but back up through mouthcombs,
the shy needles etching initials into the crags,
the rugged cheeks of man dissolving,
Tracing One Warm Line
Through this bastard-child land, the boreal savage,
in its adolescent search for identity — Canada,
a glassy scope, mirrored nimbus — the Shield cut and tarred, a bevelled diamond. Face it, Canada,
to navigate these proverbial waters. Throw the compass to the winds, the Chinooks blow kisses to your Eastern Shield.
guilt. Buck up, darling. Grit your teeth, wind the highway.
Well. You've been on your own for 151 years. I'll leave you to your own devices, your chiselled highway looks and provincial charm. Canada,
snowy tantrums are ugly like a CBC sitcom. Pass the salt-n-vinegar chips — I'll keep watch, Canada, but my shield is up, the crests of highways and leaves falling, the savage.
We hadn't settled into the decade yet,
tinged drapes and sunken tubs,
We were caught — up in the foothills, corduroy legs and cigarettes —
circling us, nesting in mustaches and duffle bags,
and decoder rings for left hands.
I was born under a big sky.
We travel in pairs,
lick the shoulders of Quebec, smoke the cigarettes of rocker moms who drive Plymouth Dusters —
and we wait. For hours,
We trundle down bevelled highway bundled in toggles,
until we catch Marvin's 18-wheeler bound for Halifax,
and we are out.
Larry Bird Mows the Lawn
They gathered in droves,
On sidewalks, on grey and bubbled black, in cars —
focus. Bird's eyes never waver from the task at hand — palming grips, delivering perfect lines up and down court green — clean and courteous, but not without focus. A bird's-eye
view of the win,
Montreal Poem; or, Our Hearts Are Not Like Wheels; or, Les Habitants
If I were to write a Montreal poem,
I would not mention the mountain, or Saint-Viateur, or fire escape couture,
the week we each ran into Leonard Cohen,
I would not ask you to remember Jeanne-Mance or Maisonneuve,
No sliding down lampposts.
I would not say this now, dear.
So she asks him why men chase women and he does not answer, cocks one eyebrow, pulls a carving knife from the drawer.
He has always been a selfish lover.
For you, David, I would use my bare hands to castrate the heavens kiss the virile mess so when
you get there you will remember our Halifax, how you stranded me in bloodstorms under hemlock and pine, over words in the
darkness — gutted me with love,
John Island I
There is a lot of plaid in this kitchen.
We were three before you returned in the crash-boat,
I'm getting better at driving the old Belarus.
We map our claim on Huron with names:
We do dive, of course.
My friend Turbo is a son of a bitch. My friend Turbo,
the mythology of Turbo swims somewhere between Blind River and Elliot Lake,
He is a boy, a cartoon-watching figment of 1980s mining town Ontario.
A Man I Never Loved
Years ago I woke up in your bed, fully clothed and reeling from our introduction the night before —
You said I had lovely hair and two years left,
When your parents moved to Sudbury, I was already there.
In Winnipeg you received word that your grandmother had died.
In a few years you will own property,
But now, in Montreal again, it rains on Maisonneuve.
Excerpted from "A Generous Latitude"
Copyright © 2018 Lenea Grace.
Excerpted by permission of ECW PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Pressure Drop 13
The Cock-n-Bull 17
Boat Song 18
Our Landscape 20
Door Frame, Late Morning 21
Flat Tire in Vermilion Bay 22
To Pogamasing 24
The Brash Tides 25
Tracing One Warm Line 26
Calgary, 1981 28
Larry Bird Mows the Lawn 31
Montreal Poem; or, Our Hearts Are Not Like Wheels; or, Les Habitants 32
Mercy Fuck 35
John Island I 36
A Man I Never Loved 40
The Why and the How 42
John Island II 44
On Yonge Street 46
Highway 17 47
Auld Lang Syne, etc. 49
In Sechelt 52
Yukon River 53
Mr. Peanut 55
Sharp Flesh 57
Organ Donor 60
I Remember the Words 61
Sudbury, Ont. 64
Grace Escapes 65
Germans Love David Hasselhoff 67
Blond Satan 68
Ice Pick Lobotomy 70
Wisdom Teeth 73
Bride and Wolf 74
Orca Fart 75
Just Grit 77
The Free 78
On the Derby Day 79
The Load Out/Stay 81
For Boris 82