Sorry, Tree / Edition 1

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“One of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature—honest, jokey, paranoid, sentimental, mean, lyrical, tough, you name it.”—Dennis Cooper

Eileen Myles has written thousands of poems since she gave her first reading at CBGB in 1974. BUST magazine calls her “the rock star of modern poetry” and The New York Times says she’s “a cult figure to a generation of post-punk females forming their own literary avant garde.”

Myles’ trademark punk-lesbian sensibility and intimate knowledge of poetic tradition are at work in this eighth collection, where every love poem is political, and every political poem is, ultimately, about love.

From “Home”:

I thought if
I inventoried home it would be broad
my eyes fling open
like a doll’s
to the virtual space that suddenly
resembles the walls
the most interesting artists are large;
while the people we know are
masses of flowers
& when I turn
on my cellphone I see

Eileen Myles has published over a dozen books of poetry, prose, and plays. Formerly the director of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, as well as a write-in candidate for president in 1992, in 1997 Myles toured with Sister Spit’s Ramblin’ Road Show. Her books include Snowflake/different streets, Inferno, The Importance of Being Iceland, Skies, Maxfield Parrish, Not Me, and Chelsea Girls (stories).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Myles is a poet with a history who writes about history, her personal history and our political history, and how the two intertwine and can't be separated, even if we might want them to." —Kathleen Rooney, Open Letters

"Sorry, Tree is a...funny title for a book. Especially for a book of poetry, that nervous species of writing that sometimes wonders whether it's worth the paper it's printed on. And especially for a book by Eileen Myles, whose poetry -whether it's about being lovesick or on a boat full of barfing people or surrounded by conservative zealots - is the opposite of apologetic. Historically speaking, Myles is the last stop of the New York School and the beginning of punk-rock poetry." —Brenden Kiley, The Stranger

"Myles’ poems feel as though they were written while moving and they’re good. The poems travel distances in line breaks and between words. The language has a pulse..." —Gina Myers, Octopus Magazine

"Sorry, Tree is flat out a terrific book, joining what seem to be the simplest personal poems with a poetic craft that dazzles." —Ron Silliman

Publishers Weekly

In her signature short, piercingly demotic lines, Myles (Skies) fiercely mines concatenated observations for the raw stuff: "it's like genitals/ I want to show you all these tiny parts." Myles has, by her own count, written "thousands of poems," and now finds information and aesthetic pleasure in almost anything: "I agree/ It's a good place to shit," or as a poem titled "Culture" puts it: "It accepts all/ marks & none/ So I'll just write/ into it." Myles's short descriptive bursts read like object lessons in an unfailing and unflinching fidelity to experience, which has its own rewards: "You are the candy melting/ in my mouth./ Is that a euphemism/ For what? Witnessing your love." One poem tries to delineate British and American English- "the words were never/the same again"; another tries to pin down involuntary convulsions of beauty-"Why is light/ so damn emotional/ if it's just/ a burning star." (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
KLIATT - Beth Lizardo
Myles's latest collection of poetry is successful because it showcases the irony, honesty, lyricism, and toughness that have made her, in Dennis Cooper's words, "one of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature." In addition to being a professor of literature at the University of California, San Diego and the former Artistic Director of St. Mark's Poetry Project, Myles has written over a dozen books of poetry, prose, and plays. Hailed by The New York Times as an icon for the generation of "post-punk female writer performers," Myles crafts poems that are blunt and quirky. Take, for instance, her poem "Now": "There's something about / bad pens / that gives an air / of absolute insincerity / to everything — their caps off / ‘n the caps laying / around too / like shitty disciples / to the mess." At the same time, however, Myles's poems retain an undeniable elegance and poeticism, which shows that in spite of her edginess, she is ever conscious of poetic tradition: "I know the niceness / of silence. Hugged / up & tossled by dog / bark, its boxing pushing / of the silent morning." Openly gay and extremely political, Myles is not afraid to voice her opinion on the current political environment. Her poem "To Hell," for instance, is dripping with irony: "We're gonna make a constitutional amendment against em / for being gay. / Gay to hit buildings, to want to meet in great numbers, / being no one Love." Such forceful lines are testaments to the fact that Myles has a voice that wants to and will be heard, and the poems in Sorry, Tree fall upon you like revelations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933517209
  • Publisher: Wave Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 83
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen Myles was named the 2010 Shelley Memorial Award winner, with Kenneth Irby, by the Poetry Society of America, received the 2011 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction for her novel Inferno. She has published over a dozen books of fiction, poetry and plays and has been a major figure in New York's literary scene for decades.
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Table of Contents

Untitled     1
No Rewriting     4
Fifty-Three     12
For Jordana     14
Lodovico     16
Each Defeat     21
Ooh     23
Movie     24
Untitled     25
Therapy     26
Dear Andrea     27
Dear Andrea     28
Dear Andrea     29
Dear Andrea     30
Unnamed New York     31
Jacaranda     34
April 5     35
Home     38
Culture     43
That Country     51
I'm Moved     55
Scribble     58
The Frames     59
Something Simple     61
Now     62
San Diego Poem     64
Cigarette Girl     66
To Hell     69
Everyday Barf     73
Acknowledgments     83
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