My Band Is the Forrest, By John Christian Driver, 21 pgs.

This is a “keychain book.” Like, it has a little key loop attached to it, and it’s tiny—about 2”x2”. The entire handmade book is one poem written by Shell (aka John C. Driver), who you may know from the band Shellshag—one of the most important bands of the last couple of decades, in my opinion. In My Band Is the Forrest, Shell seems to consider the meaning of his band (or maybe his art, or his life) by equating it with nature.

Shellshag’s lyrics are hard hitting and forthrightly emotional, pulling no punches. This poem is similar. It’s truly inspirational, but sometimes sad and hard to read. But that’s life, huh? The book is dedicated to his longtime partner Jennifer who is the other half of Shellshag.

Despite its tiny size, My Band Is the Forrest packs a hell of a wallop, just like almost everything Shell does. My favorite line: “My band in your mirror/ Shows you are the trunk/ My band is just another/ Irritating drunk.”

Note: I think these came free with early orders of the latest Shellshag LP, so contact Starcleaner for availability. –Buddha (Starcleaner, starcleaner.com)