Spotlight series #83 : Jérôme Melançon

rob mclennan
2 min readMar 6, 2023


Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.


Perception is not limited to the senses, or to sense. Why then make it solely a matter of attention, of focus? Why limit myself to expression? Why stop at the language I have, at the languages I have? Why not then recreate perception, catch what was left outside, create new opportunities for perception, beginning with this attunement to adversity and resistance? In such poems, the self might free itself of its boundaries, find ceaseless beginnings outside itself, within others, matters in matter; find its presence in everything that is new and surprising; discover its own marks in rhythms that lend themselves to expectation.

Perhaps I’ve read too much phenomenology. Perhaps I abandon myself too often to a desire for another kind of world. Is poetry then not an illusion and the creation of what lies at the heart of the illusion? I’d rather prepare another world than let myself sink into this one.


Lines without Trajectories

the pain dashes — short dashes, sudden, nervous –
dashes through the land
inhabiting each muscle, finding
the next, relying
on compensation
for its transfer, its
it tunnels

the earth moves, makes itself undulation
to accommodate
the pain dashes
the determination of gophers

a head grates against hastily
placed ceilings, dirt
raining in burrows, dirt
pulling roots and

an undulation
hawkish wings with shadows
the size of the last flood



be another way back, out,

this land bearing marks,



Some Sort of Occupation

I’m trying out places to hang up doors
might just sleep on one to test its pliability
I raise my big toe
in a sliver of light
the nail shines briefly

a bandaid to ensure the sand stays
in the wound

I dry my hands before the dish water is out

scuff my jacket
it’s already worn
by what I’ve been holding

this knowledge
why people enjoy lilacs so much

and tea

one drop of boiling water falls on my foot
on that highest part, that raised section
a connection of bone and heat

it enters

Jérôme Melançon writes poetry and philosophy, writes about each through the other, writes in French and in English, and translates one into the other. He is the author of two chapbooks with above/ground press (Tomorrow’s Going to Be Bright, 2022; Coup, 2020). His poems can be found in the Poets against Fascism anthology and, soon in +doc #4; his reviews appear in periodicities and occasionally in The Temz Review. His most recent collection is En d’sous d’la langue (Prise de parole, 2021). He can be found in oskana kâ-asastêki / Regina, SK, and on various social media platforms as lethejerome.