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roughly 5 years time

In January of 2009 while getting ready for the last art show I have had, I was commuting from Philly to my parents house in Allentown to finish up some of the pieces before beginning the week-long process of installing the show and making sure the space created the same feeling that I wanted a book to have of everything adding up to something more, of each piece flashing in another, and so on the train I was writing in a notebook, and I came up with what would end up being the first draft of the first page of the greying ghost chapbook i ain't asked any pardon for anything i done. Yesterday I decided to dive back into this thing. It'll be fun. I'll do research. And by research I mean rewatch Deadwood until cocksucker is the only word I know and rewatch The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford until my eyes bleed and Dead Man until I float off into a canoe and El Topo until I'm buried in the dirt with wings for eyes and play Red Dead Redemption until I learn how to play video games and reread The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and probably also Bats Out of Hell and also for the first time The Drop Edge of Yonder until my mouth learns how to get a thing out properly using my fingers.

BUT. Here is the first page as of almost 5 years ago, and then here is the first page as of a day ago.


" bury my bible at my feet

she dreamed he died in a train crash.

she dreamed he died from horses pulling him in more than one direction.

she dreamed he died by hanging and by a firing squad all at once.

she dreamed of him in a cemetery, all alone, with the pleurisy, the rheumatic fever, the cholera, and a whore’s disease.

she dreamed they buried him with a bible at his feet, and the bible was so upset with him that it set itself on fire and burnt him to death before flying on up to heaven, leaving a bible sized hole in the ground, from which flames would emit eternal.


she dreamed of him as a small bit of fire that she could push up inside of herself, and there he would be, forever, a fire in her belly that nothing would ever extinguish, not ever, not even when she rolled over. "







She dreamed he died in a train crash all crushed steel and frantic determination upended against the desert, which swallows what it will, flames reaching to the clouds which hang low like a failed hanging, like they are full up with the kind of rain that just won’t ever come, all mangled screams and blistered tears. The steel glinting like the stars; the stars who, like ghosts, are just a bunch of glimmering glinting jerks that don’t yet know they’ve died.
            She dreamed of him as a rescued animal pulled from the wreckage of his life his arms splinted with sadness and his shoulders spreading and sprouting like wings to carry him towards some place in the distance that neither of them could see, but that was understood to be inevitable, its finality unquestionable, its arrival certain only in its eventuality. She dreamed of him over lakes full up with fish that didn’t float on the surface bloated with rot, she dreamed of arches of fractured light coloring the sky in ways she’d never before seen, of gunfire blossoming among the stars like a victory over death spelling out the ways in which, though our love has failed us, it is not less magnificent for exisiting.
She dreamed he died from horses pulling him in more than one direction. Of limbs torn like party favors and dragged like a mood through the dust towards an idea of home that never made a lick of sense, like a signpost hung around your neck announcing your feelings to the general public, these announced feelings having little to do with your own genuine feelings, this is the sort of sense we are talking about, the kind assigned to our lives by other people. An idea received and placed in the gift pile, which is another word for the trashcan, as who out here can claim to have received a gift? Fits of pique grip us on our best days, she dreams, dreamily, in a hammock strung up like a dead man.
She dreamed he died by a hanging and a firing squad all at once, with a band in the background, a band with marching violins marching towards him in ways he would find distasteful, with a conductor and a woman with a gilded glinting breast plate squealing in the kind of way he would just hate, but which, were he a Viking, or had he the ideas of a Viking, if he could just close his eyes and imagine himself with long blonde filthy hair and a bear braided with blood gripping in one hand an oversized axe and in the other a thing not even worth mentioning but let’s call it a set of lungs being swung for a purpose we cannot even glimpse, if he could do this then he might have a different feeling altogether, feelings about horned helms reaching for an unjust God who thirsts only for slaughter. The crowd eating popcorn and debating the merits of a portable telegraph machine while his legs (and here, she could not help but sigh a bit at those legs) danced the last dance he’d ever dance.
She dreamed of his arms wrapping around her and at times of the way his cock had felt, of a jolt and a warmth, of things she would think more about if she gave a good god damn, but she does not, so don’t ask, and close the door when you leave. This house will not be here if you don’t know where to look. There are eggs on the table and the mailman is a liar.
She dreamed of the kind of letter worth writing and it started Dear You and it ended I have loved you in a way that could keep a battalion of dead mean alive in the desert because pain is an engine and love is a train and you are a dead-end track with only one possible resolution and if I ever see you again I will kill you and it will be the saddest thing that has ever happened in the history of the world aside from those plays people wrote about love where love is an idea they get in their heads that leads only to death and has nothing to do with love it is mostly just temper tantrums and people who haven’t learned what words mean yet. This is not an idea though. This is love. And I know it because my heart is tattooed on your heart and your heart is tattooed on my heart and it hurts like hell to beat this way.
She dreamed of him in a cemetery, all alone with his bones, with the moon keeping its distance from the likes of him, with the pleurisy, the rheumatic fever, the cholera, and a whore’s disease bequeathed to him by the long dead whores of the past who when they spit they spit indifference and dead cum and teeth and the kind of dream that scares you with its precision.
She dreamed they buried him with a bible at his feet, and the bible was so upset with him that it set itself on fire and burnt him to death before flying on up to heaven, leaving a bible sized hole in the ground from which flames would spill forth forever and ever until everyone knew that this is what death will get you: tourism and inconvenience.
She dreamed of him as a small bit of fire that she could push up inside of herself, and there he would be, forever, a fire in her belly that nothing would ever extinguish. Not once. Not never. "










the second page, by the way, remains the same:






Do not get the idea that this is not, in its own way, an expression of love. "

2 comments:

Taidgh Lynch said...

Welcome back! Was that the chapbook that you were turning into a novella?

sasha fletcher said...

hey! yeah. not a novella. no idea. just trying to build a world i can bury myself in during the winter and get drunk and wrap myself up in it and, like warren beatty before me, go out in the cold and holler out about how i got poetry in me

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