A Generous Latitude: Poems

A Generous Latitude: Poems

by Lenea Grace


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- 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 Details

ISBN-13: 9781770414211
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication date: 04/17/2018
Pages: 88
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.
Pressure Drop

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.
Twelve "likes"!
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.

The Cock-n-Bull

They used to serve us Chinese food — remember that Halloween spent on wontons and pints?
Boat Song

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,
Our Landscape

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,
To Pogamasing

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.

Calgary, 1981

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,
But Marvin,
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,
the parties,
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.

Mercy Fuck

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,
So. Turbo.
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"
by .
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

Proofs 11

Pressure Drop 13

Faceblue 15

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

Hitchhikers 29

Larry Bird Mows the Lawn 31

Montreal Poem; or, Our Hearts Are Not Like Wheels; or, Les Habitants 32

Rib 34

Mercy Fuck 35

John Island I 36

TU&Cyrund;BO 38

A Man I Never Loved 40

The Why and the How 42

Geography 43

John Island II 44

On Yonge Street 46

Highway 17 47

Auld Lang Syne, etc. 49

Eulogy 51

In Sechelt 52

Yukon River 53

Mr. Peanut 55

Sharp Flesh 57

Taxidermy 58

Organ Donor 60

I Remember the Words 61

Carpentry 63

Sudbury, Ont. 64

Grace Escapes 65

Germans Love David Hasselhoff 67

Blond Satan 68

Bound 69

Ice Pick Lobotomy 70

Because 71

Barber 72

Wisdom Teeth 73

Bride and Wolf 74

Orca Fart 75

Conductor 76

Just Grit 77

The Free 78

On the Derby Day 79

The Load Out/Stay 81

For Boris 82

Influence 83

Acknowledgements 85

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