‘Sorry, Tree’ By Eileen Myles

Sorry, Tree

I’ve long admired Myles for her essays and poems in magazines and for her role as an poetry advocate/agitator and as a prominent (leading? I don’t know enough to say) figure in queer literature.

But, I’d never before read one of her books. Until now.

First of all, she’s very good. It reads quickly, but I actually read through the book a couple of times because it warrants it (and because it’s a quick read; let’s be honest, I’m not going to casually read War and Peace a second time without a lot thought about the investment I’m making in the project).

A wonderful melancholy thread runs throughout the short (though not broken) lines. A sense of loss of identity from trading New York for California. A fear of drifting from others or of not being able to connect with others like we feel we ought to… sometimes the ‘other’ seems to be a romantic partner (at least once, it’s explicit in that regard), but that also feels relatively unimportant. It is the dissociation that is important. She frequently writes in an almost ‘tough guy’ vernacular, but undercuts it at every turn.

So, very good.

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