Eileen Myles: A "Working Life"
Grove Press, 2023, Hardcover, 288 pages, 21.5 × 14.5 cm
The first new collection since Evolution from the prolific poet, activist, and writer Eileen Myles, a "Working Life" unerringly captures the measure of life. Whether alone or in relationship, on city sidewalks or in the country, their lyrics always engage with permanence and mortality, danger and safety, fear and wonder. a "Working Life" is a book transfixed by the everyday: the "sweet accumulation" of birds outside a window, a cup of coffee and a slice of pizza, a lover's foot on the bed. These poems arise in the close quarters of air travel, the flashing of a landscape through a train window, or simply in a truck tooling around town, or on foot with a dog in all the places that held us during the pandemic lockdowns. Myles's lines unabashedly sing the happy contradictions of love and sex, spill over with warnings about the not-so future world threatened by climate change and capitalism, and also find transcendent wonder in the landscapes and animals around us, and in the solitary and collective act of caring for one another and our world. With intelligence, heart, and singular vision, a "Working Life" shows Eileen Myles working at a thrilling new pitch of their poetic and philosophical powers.