2013 Kevin Spenst
Kevin Spenst has had work published in Prairie Fire, CV2, Dandelion, filling Station, qwerty, Poetry is Dead, The Rusty Toque, Rhubarb Magazine, illiterature, The Enpipe Line, and V6A. His poetry has been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and his manuscript, Ignite, has come in as a finalist for the Alfred G. Baily Prize. In 2011, he won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry for a suite of poems from Ignite. In 2013, a chapbook of poems, Pray Goodbye, will be published through The Alfred Gustav Press.
"Living in the Future" was published in the chapbook Happy Hollow & the Surrey Suite.
Living in the Future
I first saw some of 2001
in 1983, Mr. Wallington’s class
on a reel-to-reel projector.
While men didn’t talk much
in the future, they did communicate
to loved ones on earth via video.
It was a long movie to sit through
for us grade-sixers. Three warnings
led to the hall and then
sitting on our hands after school.
A lot of time to think about
the future and wonder why it wasn’t
more like the explosions or
even the cloud city of Star Wars.
I’ve time travelled to
our current year of 2012
taken the slow route.
At times I talk a lot with
men who talk even more. The future
is chattier than Kubrick imagined.
Here in the Qu’Appelle Valley men talk
about hybrid canola, whiskey from the town’s
drugstore, teenage children,
poets, and the pitfalls of nostalgia.
In the evenings I talk with my girlfriend
on my phone. Our smiles fill the screens in
excitement to be holding a version of one another,
but I never imagined this. I couldn’t.
The future was a phantom limb that I felt
but knew never existed, so I return
to my mission of eye-balling the now—
that horse in the insect-making distance.
Qu’appelle this? What to call that?