Eat Here, Get Gas & Worms by Steve Spence (The Red Ceilings Press)

Tears in the Fence

Steve Spence, based in Plymouth where he co-organises the Language Club, studied at theUniversity of Plymouth and has publishedA Curious Shipwreckfrom Shearsman in 2010. He also writes a good many reviews and is a regular contributor toTears in the Fence.

This chapbook, of 41 poems, is organised in a standard format of 4 quatrains and a closing couplet, unrhymed. Most of the pieces have short 3-word titles. No named protagonists, but a ‘he’ and ‘she’ are given to comment fairly often. Patrick Holden has called Spence a ‘connoisseur of noise pollution’.

Before all else, Spence isn’t sticking to a specific narrative, so, no, nobody eats here, gets gas or worms, and the artwork is a spare abstract of red, black and blue that could almost be a Rorschach blot.

Spence on a certain level is involved in a game with the reader, this can read a bit…

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