Jamie Townsend’s debut collection of poetry, Shade, continuously turns for us a promise of utopia that is as perpetually deferred as it is exhausted. Much like a mixtape or a news ticker’s scrolling forecast of weather and stocks, Shade traverses contiguous anxieties about what capitalism renders immaterial and how optimism becomes militarized, with Townsend trailing who (or what) follows us from the streets into our throats, from our dreams into the law.
You may smash a fly but the fly’s “thing in itself” will not die. You’d simply have smashed the phenomenon called the fly. — Schopenhauer
So says the epigraph to Hagiwara Sakutaro’s “roman in the style of a prose poem,” Cat Town (1935) — in the eponymous volume which also includes his collections Howling at the Moon (1917) and Blue Cat (1923), as well as a selection of other poems.
Thomas Devaney’s dedication for Calamity Jane, “A Solo Opera for Jeanine Oleson,” situates Calamity Jane — famous as a gunslinger, sidekick of Wild Bill Hickok, and heroine of dozens of dime novels — more overtly in the realm of dramatic performance than in the realm of Western myth.