I Cannot Pretend to Be a Ghost Today

Things are bound to drown, get eaten or severed in Sasha Fletcher’s poetry zine, I Cannot Pretend to Be a Ghost Today, a surrealist composite of images and actions that are banally delivered and as a result become absurd. Throughout the poems, steamboats, birds, and bodies of water emerge and disappear like soluble fish in Fletcher’s open sky. In the absence of any line breaks, the poems allow for little pause in the constant stream of dissociative images. The charm of Fletcher’s poetry lies in certain movements of subtle beauty inextricably tied to moments of subtle humour, such as when a bird is swallowed whole only to burst out from within the belly of its consumer.

Having said this, the fleeting quality of these images doesn’t create any emotional resonance; there is little that is actually memorable in the poems. With a terse vocabulary and tight subject-action relation — such as “I said,” “I drown,” and “I ate” — it feels like having a conversation with a child. Fletcher’s anonymous “I” subject is clearly not a child, but someone with complex desires and principles, which establishes a tone that is less amusing, but more coldly detached and indifferent to the reader. (Annie Wong)

Poetry Zine, Sasha Fletcher, Paper Pusher, paperpusher.ca

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