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Snowflake / different streets

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In her first book of poetry since 2007, legendary poet, critic, and novelist Eileen Myles creates poet and poem anew as she pushes the boundaries of her craft ever closer to the enigmatic core. Snowflake finds the poet awash in an extended and distressed landscape mediated by technology and its distortion of time and space. In different streets, the poet returns home, to t ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Wave Books
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Community Reviews

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Diana Salier
Snowflake (new poems) was awesome. when i grow up i aspire to be Eileen Myles, if i don't get to be JD Salinger or Richard Brautigan. she writes a lot about the sun and being in the dark and being in crazy love with all sorts of females. it makes me feel ok about having females come and go in my life.

wasn't as into Different Streets (newer poems). i think these are mostly poems about/for her current girlfriend. maybe being too crazy in love with someone doesn't make for as good poems as losing t
Jen A.
Jan 14, 2013 Jen A. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I hate to give a bad rating to something that I know "isn't my thing," so I'll give this volume of poetry by Eileen Myles 3 stars.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around poetry, especially that which falls into the vein of being more symbolic, with less-than-concrete imagery. I'm sure some people will find inspiration and beauty in Myles' work; I struggled to find the cadence to read any of the works.

One poem is simply two words stacked on top of one another. (What?!)

I liked that the book w
it's like we took of our skin
and said it is hot. It's like we sold our skin
& said where did everyone go?

when the weather's too hot for comfort
&we we can't have ice-cream cones
it ain't no sin
to take off your skin
& dance around in your bones

from "Choke"

Can we have a moment for the Wave Books design? So beautiful - beige and black is the constraint, but no book from them looks the same. The design always enhances the gorgeous content.
Snowflake was a wonderful volume, full of thick words and more intangible topics. different streets was not as moving for me, I think in part because the topics were more straightforward and the approach verbally sparse.

At the end of different streets, Myles mentions that many of these 'newer poems' were transcriptions of older pieces, and that's somewhat how the poems feel to me-- quick, ephemeral, and fleeting, like they could vanish into air without leaving a trace of their weight.
Attracted by her biting wit and flowing line, I sought Myles out after hearing her on a Poetry Foundation podcast. After all, aren't we all on the lookout for what I took to be a working-class, lesbian version of Fred Seidel? Unfortunately, the only poem here that lived up to my expectations was on the "different streets" side of the house, called "the perfect faceless fish". The rest were stranded in traffic on a California freeway or faded away before the page was even turned.
there were some pieces I liked in these books, although I found that her style took some getting used to. in a way, she almost kind of reminds me of gertrude stein in stanzas in meditation --- while she is far less dense than stein, myles's pieces, individually, take the reader on a sort of stream of consciousness trajectory. the result is pretty fascinating, and makes for an interesting read, nonetheless!
Nice spare lines, down to the bone, honest. It's that so-called minimalist style of poetry influenced by haiku's compression--difficult to master, to sound natural and not solipsistic.
Aug 22, 2012 E rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
It's quite nice when you can cull beauty and inspiration from something that isn't quite your style. These poems confused and left me ancy, anxious to get writing my own answers to them.
Some of the poems in this double volume were so amazing they blew me away, but other poems weren't as great to me. So I liked it, but it didn't blow me away like Sorry, Tree did.
I wrote a review of Snowflake / Different Streets over at Revising Loneliness:

Vincent Scarpa
Not my favorite collection of Eileen's, but not without its great poems. I much preferred the "Different Streets" section.
Snowflake/different streets features understated, sincere, quipp-ish poetry. Not sure if I like it yet.
one day i'll like the things people write after they're happy and mature
and then this will be my favorite
I love the columnar structure of the poems. The content makes me smile. I really relate.
I like this pretty two-in-one book. My favorite was "different streets."
review forthcoming at The Nervous Breakdown
Jan 04, 2014 Gina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
I reviewed this for The Rumpus here:
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Eileen Myles (born 1949, Cambridge, Massachusetts) is probably America's best-known unofficial poet. Her latest book is Sorry, Tree in which she describes “some nature” as well as the transmigration of souls from the east coast to the west. Bust Magazine calls Myles "the rock star of modern poetry" and Holland Cotter in The New York Times describes her as "a cult figure to a generation of post-pun ...more
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