My Sunset Gun by Francesco Levato

I was planning to perform My Sunset Gun as part of the CLASH Books panel "What Lit Witchcraft Can Do For You." So, in lieu of that, here is a recording of an earlier performance of the piece.

My Sunset Gun is collaged from the novels The Sorry Tale by Patience Worth and To Have and to Hold by Mary Johnston. Patience Worth was an early 1900s writing prodigy who was celebrated for her novels, poetry, and prose. She was considered “A prolific charmer who was known for her flashy verbal stunts and quick wit,” but more interestingly, she was a ghost. Her writings, which would issue in a prolific stream, were actually channeled through Pearl Curran using a Ouija board. I found Patience while researching another project and became fascinated with the idea of the invocation of this spirit author, this disembodied voice given somewhat of a physicality through Pearl. I later found out that the name Patience Worth actually comes from a character in the novel To Have and to Hold by Mary Johnston which was published thirteen years before the appearance of Patience Worth, the spirit writer. Thinking about this idea of disembodiment/invocation I thought it would be interesting to “invoke” Patience textually through weaving together language from Patience’s own novel, The Sorry Tale, and language from Mary Johnston’s novel, To Have and to Hold, where the character Patience Worth has her origins. The multimedia performance is an extension of the idea of invocation (with my own disembodied image and voice serving as that being channeled) as well as an unpacking of my poetry films into more dynamic live presentations while maintaining my visual aesthetic.