Singing the Stars
Published by Coach House Press
Sample/forward by John Cage

Samuel R. Delany – On back cover of Singing the Stars

‘In MacLennan the coherence—the repetition—of objects and images urges us to recall Freud’s passing dictum, “Repetition is desire.” And as if follows itself into new time, to new landscapes, through new concepts, desire in MacLennan’s work creates its clear scaffolding for an elegant lyric, and intensely pleasurable exploration of the transcendent world and of whatever in that world—beauty, meaning—exceeds the common functions, objects and images from which her work is garnered.’

Excerpts from Singing the Stars


Strange, how space looks exactly as still as the objects between it

An icebox a space an iceberg a space a moon

As if some irreducible emptiness of space suddenly felt a need to solidify bits and pieces of itself into still objects for the sake of a simple melody. As if sofas and table and spoons were suddenly spit out whole into the world from nothing, to stand there like white objects always reminding us of fallen pieces of light or a momentary song space needs to sing of

an icebox

an iceberg

and a moon


Where are all the holes kept before they are put into the ground?
And where is it some holes get more hole to have in them than others?
And where is expectation kept, like a hole in the articulate?
While looking out the window, above a tree in late afternoon, how is it we can see the absence of a moon, shining?
And where are all the leaves before they appear embedded in summer. As if summer were a thing that suddenly grew birds and stems, yellow jackets and sky, and trees were just an outer fence to keep it all from falling over.


Why is it that every time you wake up, you wake up yourself and not something else?
That each morning you’re still sticking to your body in the way that your hair sticks to your head.
That the hair hasn’t once left your head screaming, lurching out the whole length of itself during a dream of falling snow from which you woke up bald.
And you wonder if just once you did something differently, if there were some quick incident you could push or pull, lift or drop in time that would suddenly undo the crystalline structure that binds things together inside you and keeps you personally sticking to yourself. Some plain incident, like sleeping with a large fake flowered hat and galoshes on, something so simple no one had ever thought of it, that would suddenly let you wake up a horse, or something with just a presence, like an empty hallway.

Yale University Library, Connecticut
National Library of Australia
Northwestern University, Illinois