Commentary from Rob McLennan, on his blog:
Ever since Ottawa poet and cab driver William Hawkins told me to read this kid, I’ve seen his name everywhere, from the Bookninja site to his own regular web rants on Maisonneuve (http://www.maisonneuve.org/blog/index.php?use_blog_name=zed), as well as reviews and poems everywhere. Very nearly out of print is Zachariah Wells’ chapbook Fool’s Errand, published earlier this year by Charlottetown’s own Saturday Morning Chapbooks, distributed by The Reading Well Bookstore. One of the smarter versions of the angry young Canadian poet/critic, Wells’ chapbook writes of the island (he is a PEI native), Brer Rabbit, horses, cormorants and other images of east coast wilderness. I like how he mixes formal writing considerations with informal language, such as in this piece:
THE OLD GREY MARE
Finicky fuckin thing that old silver Ford–clutch
So touchy no one could start er without stallin
Least once. And gutless! Christ, that clunkety four-
Banger couldn’t climb nothin without gearin down–
Burnt out three clutches pullin stuck neighbours
From ditches. Didn’t help none when the old man,
Comin back from the Shore, nodded and pitched off
The road, a quarter mile shy of our drive.
Must’ve tramped the gas when he passed out, hit
The ditch like a ramp: stripped bark from a birch
Nine feet off the ground, woke up, unbuckled, lurched
Down the dark empty road home, a cage full o cracked
Ribs. Bought the wroteoff wreck off the broker,
Got er fixed up with parts off other old trucks.
New silver paint was a different batch, though, not quite
A match–no, never was the same, after that.
Apparently his first trade collection of poems, edited by Paul Vermeersch, comes out almost any day now from Toronto’s Insomniac Press. With any luck, he’ll at least get to Toronto or Montreal for launches, from his home out there in Halifax.
Produced in editions of 100 signed & numbered copies, contact The Reading Well Bookstore for more information on the Saturday Morning Chapbooks series c/o 87A Water Street, Charlottetown PEI, C1A 1A5, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org