Vaudeville in the Dark is R. M. Ryan's dance to the music of our times, his search for salvation in poetry. In writing up our minor moments, he reckons to find "peace beneath the unsteady light / where we give ourselves to the world / as we circle in and out of the dark." Sometimes funny, sometimes somber, the world of Vaudeville in the Dark ranges from an elegy on the death of a miner in Sago, West Virginia, to a meditation on the life of Rembrandt. Tony the Tiger, Glenn Gould, Chaucer---each has a moment as Ryan makes his way across the stage of our lives. He creates a world both frightening and funny as we--songsters all--long for a "heart dissolved in melody."
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