Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sasha Fletcher, when all our days are numbered…

When I made dinner I made dinner with my eyes open.
A bird flew past the window while waiting to become electric.

We were all of us waiting to become electric.

We were all of us waiting to become something.

We were all of us waiting.

I am waiting for my dinner she said. I told her I knew. She said Good. She came up close behind me & put her chin on my shoulder. Hey she said. When’s dinner.
When I met Toronto author Ken Sparling a couple of months ago, he recommended a first novel(la) by American writer Sasha Fletcher, a book with the loveliest of titles, his when all our days are numbered marching bands will fill the streets & we will not hear them because we will be upstairs in the clouds (mud luscious press, 2010), informally known, it would seem, as when all our days are numbered. Fletcher’s first little novel is a long lyric sentence written as a first book, a sweet, sentence-driven abstract that feels enormously young but no less knowing or smart, slowly learning how to ask all the right questions. What else can I tell you?
A fireman walked down the street. I watched him from the roof. He stopped the fire using his hands. He said What are you doing. The fire didn’t say anything. He asked the fire if the fire heard him. The fire said No I didn’t & then he covered it in water like a sheet & said Go to sleep & it did & everything was okay.

Later the fireman cut his own throat open with an axe. He had been crying. Out of his neck flew a bird & the bird flew up into the sky.

He had been a good fireman & a good father & a pretty good cook. He had several children. All of them lived in different rooms. He would walk through the alley each day & they would all gather & he would say I love you very much & they would register that he loved them & weep.

Every night he would read them bedtime stories until reading to each of them individually became very tiring.

Every night he would read to a different child. Every night he would record the readings on a cassette player & on the nights when he wasn’t reading to them they would play the cassette & look at a big cardboard cut-out of their fireman daddy who loved them & who put out fires all the time and saved everyone.

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