Patti Smith Archive

The Joys of a Journal

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Last April, I attended Alexander Chee’s talk on reporting the self. He said: “The thing that you remember is the thing that you live with.” I’d never heard this truth stated so clearly before. What else but memory could be at the root of so many personal conflicts and

On Music History, Street Walking, and Energy Building

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The surrounding parts of Greenwich Village, with its cafes and bookstores and instrument stores and doughnut shops and all things to and from those sorts, brings to one a brevity of air when they can connect who else has been there before.

It’s All In the Voicing

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It’s the time-in-a-place, couldn’t-have-happened-any-other-way moments we keep close like the pillars of our personal pantheons that create lives out of impulsive decisions, unfortunate situations, and well-timed placement. It’s the first times that are finales to culminated forces – sometimes well planned, sometimes purely by chance – and the beginnings

Inferno: Reading Eileen Myles in Las Vegas

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1 I have a few hours to kill in Las Vegas and I’m looking for a quiet place to finish Eileen Myles’s Inferno. Reading here feels like a radical act; it doesn’t make anybody any money or provide a sense of spectacle. The Vegas Strip seems to discourage it.