Sorry Tree -Eileen Myles

Time to hit you with a book review. Sorry Tree is a recent book of poetry by Eilleen Myles. By way of description of Myles, for the uninitiated, I don’t know whether to say, ‘Still hot at almost 60,’ ‘In the genre of Ginsberg and Patti Smith,’ ‘Lesbian for president, Poet for all,’ or just, ‘someone who owes me a coffee/chat.’ I will content myself with saying instead, a voice that will influence you, Myles has mastered her craft.

Now on to the book. This is a poem from one of my favorite series of poems in Sorry Tree, “Dear Andrea”

Myles writes:

“Dear Andrea

You are the candy melting

in my mouth.

Is that a euphemism

For what? Witnessing your love.

That’s pretty good.

Oh I thought you said

Hear the candy

melting in my mouth.

All the people like me

are thanking all the people

like you. Can we call

it bird house?

I wouldn’t take that

away from you. You’re

like an orangutan.

You’re like a little brother

I just allowed in the bed.

Did you have coffee with

your dinner. No

I’m excited. We

bought a bird house

today. We didn’t

get it yet. No

but we should

call it that. I.M.

sweet”

I missed my stop on the subway, while reading this, I was transported and, perhaps fortunately, not to my intended destination. Instead I visited the spaces that the poet inhabits, which her voice so viscerally describes. I was on a ferry and in a bedroom, within a warm house deep in thought, capturing each minuscule feeling that visited me. For the other “Dear Andrea’s” buy the book

See you at  Angela Davis’s talk tonight!

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