Dear Spencer Letters // Poetics of a Love Story, Reimagined

Bart Scholliers

Bart Scholliers

A poet previously published in the Bo-Arts series, Anna Aileen See-Jachowski shares another series of poetry with Boshemia. Written in the styling of the letters from Katharine Hepburn to Spencer Tracy, Anna's poetry is a love story reimagined in a contemporary context. These are love letters 1 & 2 of 6. 

letter #1.


all i can write anymore is a letter.

here i languish

(in america)

in the water that should cleanse me-

another one of your bathtub beauties.

only you are not here to

scrub my pock-marked shoulders, or 

take my photograph.

spencer, these september days are hollow,

and the pretend autumn nights are so full

of a yellow lady named (Subject: Re:) luna, who we’ve spoken of before. 

(On Wed, Sep 1 2010 at 11:33:14, < spencer > wrote: "you are more than just my moon, Anna…")

spencer, the sound of banjos is just like

your laughter-

a smile that twangs like home.

i am only able to sob 

when i leave the house,

behind the wheel.

but lately,

i haven’t let the moon get high enough to howl.

instead i sit here in the bath;

wine, and a single black crayon in hand,

and your records do the wailing; 

and i write, and i sweat, and i touch myself.

spencer, my love for you

is so hopelessly passe, 

we’d laugh in it’s face,

with full bellies in the kitchen turned gallery space, 

if only we could.

we’d cackle away like we used to-

two drunks dancing the tango to the blues,

falling over and into each other,

our lips locked even as we fall. 

(your lad’s smile is the skeleton key.)

spencer, you’ve always made me crazy,

like a dali film,

but it used to make us laugh.

now it just cracks me up.

oh, but i do know so many excellent blacksmiths. 

my armor is a sloppy patchwork of

three different kinds of precious metals-

one for each of your

"katharine, katharine, katharine…"s.

resources are scarce, so i

scoff at (keeping up) appearance,

and i take what i can get.

spencer, i quit smoking.

i couldn’t taste your mouth in

an american spirit anymore.

so, i press my lips

to your picture,

and try to taste the tobacco and

the fire.

instead, the flames

lick my

month-long swollen thighs.

to come is to come close

to the memory of your

palms on my hips,

rocking my body around you

when, lost in that look in your eyes, (you know the one)

i can no longer move on my own.

orgasms like that

stowed away in your luggage,

along with the little red string

i wore all summer long

and then tucked away in your wörterbuch

on the page marked


spencer, i believe we were the hurricane

predicted for the eastern shore. 

we raged underwater,

until i thought i’d drown in whiskey,

and we underwhelmed the suspecting public.

my lungs are still so full of waves.

love, love, (god save our) love,


Ariel Lustre

Ariel Lustre

letter #2.


this town is haunted.

all hallow’s eve draws nearer 

and the ghosts,

clad in the clothes you left on the line and

my ratty old thigh highs,

seem to move about

where they please,


spencer, the sun sets earlier now

and in this town littered with stray cats, and

heroin addiction,

it isn’t safe to walk alone.

whiskey floods the churches and the

gutters and the

bitch caves.

when the equinox hits,

we’re all meeting on the river, 

past bones wright,

to dance naked under the moon

in your honor, of course.

spencer, what will halloween sound like

in the land of

yellow stars and

branding irons?

spencer, will your costume finally fall

right off, down around your ankles?

will mrs. tracy stay home

to pass out treats to children 

while you’re up to your waist in

cheap tricks?

spencer, i wish you were here,

so we could keep

writing out

ghost story.

always, and until death,

your katharine.