Para-Social ButterflyŠari Dale
Luxury is a material
by immaterial means
Disillusioned with her life as a waitress, an aspiring influencer implants a micro-projector into her brain to live in a world of her own creation called the Ultra-Glam. The Ultra-Glam is a virtual reality of fame, glamour, hyper-pop, mass-media images, movie trailers, celebrity selfies, and perfume advertisements. The further she goes into this world, the more the borders of reality become blurred. Is her reality the one in which her physical body exists? Or is it the one which she creates, beyond the realms of the physical? And is this world created on her own terms? Para-Social Butterfly is a fun, beautiful, dark, and twisted look into the question of existence in the digital age.
“Šari Dale’s Para-Social Butterfly tells us early on that ‘Glamour is a machine.’ These mechanics of the present whirl through the forms of the inventive and refreshing poems in this collection: they’re complicated, incredible. Šari Dale catalogs the repertoire of the contemporary moment, its never-ending scroll of talking filters, niche celebrities, and crypto-graphics. From talking heads in the feed to embodying the online iPhone persona that without which we simply would disappear forever, Para-Social Butterfly holds up a mirror to our faces, then dares us to have a good time. I loved reading this book. Loved it!”
– Ben Fama, author of Death Wish (Newest York Arts Press) and Fantasy (Ugly Duckling Presse)
“Para-Social Butterfly is a brilliant dive into the mind’s eye of what it means to exist between Cheugy cringe, pop-up ads, luxury, technophiles, and a search for influence. Šari Dale writes poems in a hyper-real voice with a delicate and sensitive beauty that brings us swiftly back into our bodies. We are on our phones buying things we can’t afford while we strip to tan. We are longing for the pastoral vintage look we see in photos online. This book is investigating the result of nihilism and hope when mixed. Šari Dale is so much smarter than most of us – she just gets it.”
– Laura Marie Marciano, author of Mall Brat (Civil Coping Mechanisms)
The Ex-Puritan | “(T)his is not a book ‘merely about’ the in(s)ane delectations and distortions of Digital Life, celebrity culture, consumerism, and the like, though it does that well. Nor is it a flippant attempted rejection of human self, which it also does well. In part, the book is about the futility of desire itself, in the long and instantaneous now. Punctured, hilarious, and adolescent as the desires in this book are, they are not really aimed at the objects, the sex symbols, the “70s-inspired slingbacks” in the window. They are more like death drives neutered by the constant scroll, by the sheer “mind-numbing pace” with which we must toggle between our “sparsely plotted” lives and the tabloid stories desperately concocted. The desire for the getaway means you have to shop for the right heart-shaped sunglasses. Predetermined, hauntological, your desire is coded with planned obsolescence.”
Broken Pencil | “Imagine your nephew’s favourite e-girl read Baudrillard and O’Hara, shitposted confessional poetry on stream and published a tell-all career retrospective in her mid twenties; the result might look something like Šari Dale’s poetry debut. Designed and executed like a VTuber’s fever dream, Para-Social Butterfly adapts well-worn avant-garde and modernist poetics to stranger-than-fiction internet subcultures to present a surprisingly sympathetic critique of life under the ubiquitous influence of celebrity.”
The Montreal Review of Books | “Provocative and playful…”
The Flight of the Para-Social Butterfly – The Entrepreneur’s Ecosystem (Podcast)
Šari Dale is from Prince George, BC on the Ancestral Lands of the Lheidli T’enneh. Her writing has appeared in publications across Canada and anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry and Poetry Daily. Her debut collection Para-Social Butterfly was released with Metatron Press.