SONGS THAT REMIND US OF FACTORIES
By Danny Jacobs
The title of Danny Jacobs’s debut poetry collection reminds us of the dramatic transformation of the economy from the industrial to the digital, from machines to computers, from heavy-equipment operators to “phone pitch wizards,” and from dying malls to . . . new malls. His songs comment on this shift, and suggest ways in which the rhythms of contemporary life are infected by the new forms of white noise we have to navigate. If humans have a tendency to become our machines, and this is a theme of the book, then what kinds of telecommunications technology are we turning into now? What products will define us and what language will we speak? These are pressing questions at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and while Jacobs isn’t big on answers he does offer some fresh and disquieting ways of thinking about such matters.