Alfred Gustav Press Series Eleven

5. - Kevin Spenst

White Zombie throttled metal as the rental van 
skidded onto the clear cut. One veteran was duct-
taping her fingers, better traction than a glove.
Ten of us clamoured out, cinched belts, unwrapped
cellophaned seedlings, adjusted head phones, 
surveyed row upon row of soil, stumps and rocks.
I made a piecemeal ten dollars that first day:
shovel in, forward and back, slide the root into
the hole, remove shovel, step on soil to close. 
Soon it was rote work and I could run the maze of roots.
To celebrate our day off six of us crawled into Yohav's 
two-person tent. He played the guitar as a joint 
went around the small circle of our mouths.
Even the dirt under our fingernails glowed orange. 
from Pray Goodbye
(Alfred Gustav Press, 2013).
Reprinted with permission.

Depending on who you ask, the best or worst part of the Alfred Gustav Press' chapbook series is that you never know what you're going to get. Three chapbooks by three poets you may or may not have heard of, writing goodness-knows what about goodness-knows what, all arriving in your mailbox one afternoon.

So for better or for worse, consider the above poem a spoiler for Alfred Gustav's eleventh round of chapbooks, which will feature:

Ian Adam, Three
Annie Deeley, Brother
Kevin Spenst, Pray Goodbye

Kevin, fresh from Yohav's
two-person tent.
I got a sneak peek at Kevin Spenst's chapbook, which travels from Surrey, into the tree-planting hills, through Vancouver and back out to the suburbs, all in eleven poems. And along for the ride with you come Goombas and VHS tapes and meat packing plants and Star Trek and French youth hostels and zambonis and Dune and Price Waterhouse Cooper and Guildford Mall and eternal birthday cakes (and White Zombie, of course). Needless to say, it's quite a trip, written with a deft hand and a deep heart, and is certainly worth the $4.33 cover price.

As the chapbooks need to be ordered in advance, Kevin has organized a subscription-drive party, at which he will be reading alongside Ben Rawluk. The details:

Spenst and Rawluk Read
Thursday, September 12th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
The Paper Hound Bookshop
344 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC

If you can't make it out to that event, you can also see Kevin in action this Sunday at the Dead Poets Reading Series, where he will be reading the poetry of John Berryman.

And, of course, regardless of your ability to attend any pre-subscription parties (if you're in Winnipeg, Annie Deeley is hosting one on September 11th) you can always subscribe to the next round of chapbooks simply by popping an order in the mail.

Inflation has pushed the cost of subscriptions up to $13 (yes, for all three! $18 outside Canada). The subscription deadline is October 1st, 2013. To order, send cash or cheque payable to David Zieroth at:

The Alfred Gustav Press
429B Alder Street
North Vancouver, BC
V7L 1A9

Please remember to include your mailing address (and include your email address if you wish updated information).

For more information contact David Zieroth at dzieroth(at)telus(dot)net and for more background and history check out the Alfred Gustav Press webpage.

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