A winner of Essay Press's 2015 Chapbook Contest, selected by Julie Carr.
“Whether this place is always already aflame or ought to be, this is the certainty that it is or will be and was, a city all before and subject to wish fulfillment and defense mechanism.”
Through anaphora and vignettes, and Melancholia diagrams the multiple facets of grief, most importantly the duality of despair and desire, even as the love-object and relationship escapes and decays. Wes Jamison’s essay mourns a burning city while it grieves a relationship not yet ended, creating what Julie Carr describes as “the story of how words, especially the detailed and measured words of poetry, forge a psyche to forage within.” and Melancholia performs the symbiosis of language and body and Chicago through a “seductive” narrative and a “painfully vertiginous self.”
"Wes Jamison's epistle is...at least in part the story of how words, especially the detailed and measured words of poetry, forge a psyche to forage within. More specifically and Melancholia shows us the alchemical process whereby language, beaten to a shine, begets desire and its parter: remorse....The moments of ironic detachment that run through this text invent not a false self, but a split one, a painfully vertiginous self we can all recognize as nothing short of real life."
–Julie Carr ("Introduction")