isn't this what you were looking for?

do you guys remember when i wrote a story about the arabian sea

i did and you can read it here although maybe we have all got some thoughts on issu, which sometimes i have some thoughts on, but mostly my thoughts are about thelonious monk's alone in san francisco which who doesn't like sitting in a chair with a glass of rye or something and looking at the way the lights of the basketball courts make the trees into this yellowish green and the sky is this deep dark purple navy situation, and the moon, the fucking moon you guys, holy shit.

other thoughts include whether i am going to remember to capitalize these posts, or even use them, or what. we are all of us at a crossroads which i taped off the radio all the time because i'd always miss the first few bars. i remember once i wanted to make a mix tape and so i taped everything off the radio, and i would just wait until the song i wanted came on.

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. "


OK so the thing about Rill Rill

is that Rill Rill is not Can You Get to That

it contains that truly transcendent riff that just rises up. I mean, the song wouldn't exist without that. Those bass thuds help! They do! But without that riff the song would not be that piece of gum your brain won't stop chewing, finding these pockets of flavor inserted by science to go on and on and on. That is the thing about Can You Get to That, is that it is magic, and it is about love, and ache, and disappointment, and it is a fucking dare. It is a challenge. Listen. I have a lot of love to give, and am a fucking pinnacle of tenderness. Can you get to that? Is this a place you are capable of ascending? And that's the thing about art. Is that you have to try. You have got to reach for that. And that riff. Fuck, that fucking riff. What Rill Rill does is it marries High School Voodoo to this fucking riff. Like if The Craft was more like that bit in Four Rooms, but even more High School, and even more voodoo. It's the sort of thing where you can imagine them building you an altar in their locker, but the alter is made out switchblades, because their heart is a switchblade. There's this menace but it's probably not even real and anyway it doesn't matter, because it's the summer.

Which makes no sense, because the summer is fucking hot. You sit around drenched in sweat you didn't earn, and then the humidity makes that sweat stick in layers and layers that build up like some awful armor, and then you get a sunburn, and maybe dehydrated. But here's the thing. When yr a kid, the summer is freedom. It's pools and sprinklers and hose fights and water ice and summer camp and all of that. It's endless potential. And that feeling never goes away. And that is what this is about I guess. It comes back. It always does. And everything looks better in summer. Maybe it's how all that sweat makes us glisten and gleam. Maybe it's that we're outside, and drinking margaritas, and having a good time. There's a glint. It means something. It's a form of magic we'll never escape, so just fucking deal with it. Grip it tight and don't let go til it's gone.


About This Event

Minimum Age:


Doors Open:

7:00 PM

Show Time:

7:00 PM


This is a general admission event in The Gallery at LPR.


The Book Report Reading
Once upon a time you were in third grade and you had to give book reports and it was awesome. The Book Report promises to deliver exactly what it promises: reports on books by the people who’ve read them. Join Leigh Stein and Sasha Fletcher and assorted literate guests for an evening that will remind you of 3rd grade in the best possible way.
J. Hope Stein
J. Hope Stein is the author of [Talking Doll] (Dancing Girl Press), [Mary] (Hyacinth Girl Press) and Corner Office (H_ngm_n Bks.) She is editor of and author of
Maris Kreizman
Maris Kreizman is the creator of Slaughterhouse 90210, a blog that combines her love of literature with her appreciation for crappy television. She’s worked in book publishing for 12 years.
Amy Lawless
Amy Lawless is the author of two books of poems: Noctis Licentia (Black Maze Books, 2008) and My Dead (Octopus Books, forthcoming). She was a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in poetry. She lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.
hosts Leigh Stein
Leigh Stein is the author of four chapbooks of poetry and one novel, The Fallback Plan, newly released from Melville House. You can listen to an excerpt of The Fallback Plan here.
Sasha Fletcher
Sasha Fletcher is the author of the novella WHEN ALL OUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED MARCHING BANDS WILL FILL THE STREETS AND WE WILL NOT HEAR THEM BECAUSE WE WILL BE UPSTAIRS IN THE CLOUDS [ml press 2010] and a couple of poetry chapbooks.



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