Poetry. DREAM MACHINE, Sade LaNay's debut collection of prose poems, is a catalog of violence and somnambulant obsessions. This numerological tour de force creates a dreamscape that reflects various violence-saturated landscapes, including physical, sexual, psychological, racial, and gendered. Among these, the speaker of the poems both enacts violence and receives it, and violence becomes a neutral tool, taking on the qualities of the body that wields it. Both excessive and inclusive, the collection probes the speaker's desire to hold order and chaos, good and evil—any false dichotomy—simultaneously in tension and in harmony. To disturb these oppositions, LaNay invents Him, an uncanny, destructive, confining—yet somehow alluring—presence to interrogate the male gaze and normative masculinity. In conjunction with the nightmare man and mother, Him completes a trifecta of forces, both real and symbolic, that the dreamer must navigate and extricate themselves from to attain the freedom they seek.
Sade LaNay is the author of DREAM MACHINE (co- im-press, 2014), self portrait (2018) and Härte (Downstate Legacies, 2018). I LOVE YOU AND I'M NOT DEAD won the 2021 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry.