cover image The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void

The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void

Jackie Wang. Nightboat, $16.95 trade paper (158p) ISBN 978-1-64362-036-7

In this extraordinary debut, Wang (Carceral Capitalism) creates a symbolist dream diary for catastrophic times. A cross between Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s elliptical poetic treatises and Marosa di Giorgio’s fevered fables, Wang tells stories that begin in clarity but unfurl into complex landscapes, exploring the role of projection and imagination in our relationships. “People don’t believe that the butterfly stays with me and their disbelief makes me crazy,” Wang writes in “Companion Species.” “They think I’m making it up so I take my foot out of my shoe and there she is, little yellow wings.” In “The Resurrection of Angela,” the familiar scene of the overlong poetry reading pivots as the speaker takes the stage “carrying Angela, my decapitated angel... She is dead but I do not know why or how she passed.” The book engages with climate change and the apocalyptic, asking, “Can a book parry catastrophe?” At another point, Wang observes, “I have been having such strange and beautiful dreams lately,” and readers will be grateful for these potent, dreamlike reflections. (Jan.)