By Eileen Myles
Myles is, primarily, a poet. Her fractured, fragmented diaristic way of telling stories from her life takes some getting used to, like about two minutes or three pages or so, and then you start forgetting that you’ve ever expected anyone to write any other way. The narrative momentum in
these stories—of lesbians and various sorts of cultural outlaws in seedy and glamorous settings up and down the Eastern seaboard, interspersed with stories from Myles’ traditional messed-up Irish Catholic childhood—is so strong that the book is almost impossible to put down, even though it has none of the conventional attributes that tend to make a book gripping, like characters or a plot. Myles’ voice is singular and I would follow it anywhere. This is a cliché but she could make assembly instructions for a small electronic device gripping. It also helps that these stories are full of drugs and sex and small quiet portraits of human nature at its naked best and worst.