In the Village That Is Not Burning Down, by Travis Nathan Brown
In this collection, a sort of lyrical documentary unfolds amidst a background of Midwestern decline. We reckon with a lineage that is rooted in losses and failures, heavily tinged with the absurd. Here, falling is a kind of flying. A cough is a precursor to song, and the local myths are sacred and carved into the bathroom stalls. The County Fair is the Times Square of a teenager’s fever dream. Love is both a difficult industry and a lingering question. So, what does it mean to come from that place? How does one walk through it, treading the thin line between resignation and yearning?
In Travis Brown’s In the Village that Is Not Burning Down, these are the questions that spring up after flame cuts clear the overgrown plain. A hot spot remains: it is what we touch when we reach out and hope again.