My friend Sarah hates the cover of this book. It’s so not her. “It’s ugly,” she said. And she’s so "not into that nineties ugly cool aesthetic.” I am.
The color of Eileen Myles’ Not Me is one I’ve sought out all summer. I bought a net shopping sac at Pearl River Market and its color is just like it. Like cartoon alien green or iPhone text message green, a stock digital tone.
Every July, my attention span flits flits flits like — wait, what?
My attention flits like — a full pack of Pop Rocks crackling between palate and tongue, or an overproduced pop song. Like the rhythm of Not Me. Most of Myles’ poems in this collection are laid out in narrow columns, little as six to thirty characters deep, like (from “Everything’s House”):
When the time
Or like (from “Edward the Confessor”):
And if you are experiencing
something of similar nature
tell someone, not me,
but tell someone. It’s the new
These are lines the eye flies through. The breaks impart speed, as in rapid film cuts. Next next next. You race down the page. So in summer it’s perfect. At least, for me, whose reaction to the sun is the same as some’s to ecstasy.
Not Me takes you through the seasons; Myles writes of them all. From (from her ode “Peanut Butter”) “Summer as a / time to do / nothing and make / no money.” To “Autumn in New York,” the title of another poem, which begins:
It’s something like returning to
sanity but returning
to something I have
never known like
a passionate leaf
Not Me is this—passionate page leaves turn to a tacky green cover, and return you, cyclically, seasonally, to something different.