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Prolific and widely renowned, Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work "set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match" (New York Review of Books). This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie. In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and the Prolific and widely renowned, Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work "set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match" (New York Review of Books). This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie. In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly began to make an indelible impact on the writer's sense of self and work. Over the course of sixteen years together, Myles was devoted to the dog's wellbeing. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow (a dog memoir) launches a probing investigation into the dynamics between pet and pet-owner. Through this lens, we examine Myles's experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we invent to get to the heart of grief. Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles's childhood puppet, to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull; from lyrical transcriptions of their walks, to Rosie's enlightened narration from the afterlife, Afterglow illuminates what happens to our identities when we dedicate our existence to a dog.


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Prolific and widely renowned, Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work "set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match" (New York Review of Books). This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie. In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and the Prolific and widely renowned, Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work "set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match" (New York Review of Books). This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie. In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly began to make an indelible impact on the writer's sense of self and work. Over the course of sixteen years together, Myles was devoted to the dog's wellbeing. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie's death, Afterglow (a dog memoir) launches a probing investigation into the dynamics between pet and pet-owner. Through this lens, we examine Myles's experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we invent to get to the heart of grief. Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles's childhood puppet, to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull; from lyrical transcriptions of their walks, to Rosie's enlightened narration from the afterlife, Afterglow illuminates what happens to our identities when we dedicate our existence to a dog.

30 review for Afterglow (a Dog Memoir)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I wish this had been published without the subtitle, or with a more cagey one (like “Notes towards a Dog Memoir” or “A Sort of Dog Memoir”). If what you want is a straightforward dog memoir, read Dog Years by Mark Doty and Ordinary Dogs by Eileen Battersby, both excellent examples of the genre. The time that Myles, known primarily as a poet and queer theorist, had with her pit bull Rosie between 1990 and 2006 is less the substance of this book than a jumping-off point for a jumbled set of remini I wish this had been published without the subtitle, or with a more cagey one (like “Notes towards a Dog Memoir” or “A Sort of Dog Memoir”). If what you want is a straightforward dog memoir, read Dog Years by Mark Doty and Ordinary Dogs by Eileen Battersby, both excellent examples of the genre. The time that Myles, known primarily as a poet and queer theorist, had with her pit bull Rosie between 1990 and 2006 is less the substance of this book than a jumping-off point for a jumbled set of reminiscences and imagined scenarios. Myles sometimes writes as Rosie, and sometimes to Rosie; one particularly unusual chapter has Rosie being interviewed by a puppet. The author milks the god/dog connection for all it’s worth, and suggests (seriously, I think) that Rosie was the reincarnation of her father. The style is playful, sometimes a stream of consciousness with lots of run-on sentences and paragraphs that read like prose poems. As long as the dog was the main subject I was with Myles, but there was so much that seemed extraneous: a trip to Ireland, a lecture on foam (?) given at the San Diego Women’s Center, and extended thoughts about mailmen. Perhaps if I’d read something else by Myles previously I would have had a better idea of what I was getting into. Enjoyable enough, but weird, and not what I was expecting from the marketing. [An odd connection from my recent reading: In The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson writes, “My feeling is, you should be so lucky to get a pizza in the face from Eileen Myles”.] Some favorite lines: She was it. Mainstay of my liturgy for sixteen point five almost seventeen years. She was observed. I was companioned, seen. To write a book is to dig a hole in eternity. Gender is an untrustworthy system and at the deepest point its waters are pure myth. I mean the point is to dissolve categories. Ideas hold things up. Eileen—just write. The dog has been serving the writer for years, opening up her life and getting her out into the air and onto the beaches and even bringing attractive people into the unattractive life of the writer who often never goes out. And now once she/he, the writer succumbs the dog gives pictures to the writer which the writer transcribes and we are seeing it here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Afterglow (a dog memoir) written by celebrity poet Eileen Myles is a heartfelt loving tribute to Rosie, her Pitbull Terrier that lived for nearly 17 years. Whether readers are familiar with Myles writing style or poetry, Myles captures a sensitive unique flair and a meaningful creative writing combination she is recognized for. Caring for an elderly incontinent dog—the endless cycle of washing and laundering is nearly impossible to keep up with. Myles resisted the notion to put Rosie down, though Afterglow (a dog memoir) written by celebrity poet Eileen Myles is a heartfelt loving tribute to Rosie, her Pitbull Terrier that lived for nearly 17 years. Whether readers are familiar with Myles writing style or poetry, Myles captures a sensitive unique flair and a meaningful creative writing combination she is recognized for. Caring for an elderly incontinent dog—the endless cycle of washing and laundering is nearly impossible to keep up with. Myles resisted the notion to put Rosie down, though towards the end of Rosie’s life Myles is naturally suffering tremendously along with Rosie. Myles lovingly cares for Rosie, filming her in an endless loop, she reads her poetry: (from the book)… “”I read for Rosie that night. Read every poem she was in. Not that she needed it. She did not need poetry. She was it, mainstay of my liturgy for 16.5 almost 17 years.” Myles wrote about her extremely busy professional career and life—the time spent traveling away from home, unhappy lovers/girlfriends over her inability to remain at home for longer times, and teaching at the University of San Diego (2002). The war in Iraq was taking place, (2005) and the Bush administration was addressing the issues with Abu Ghraib; and readers learned more about Myles upbringing in Ireland. Rosie had her own distinctive voice in the book, referring to Myles as “Jethro”. A letter from Rosie’s attorney arrived, Rosie appeared in a puppet troupe from the after-life and other occasions throughout the book-- bringing solace and comfort to her master Jethro. It was difficult to ascertain if Rosie was there or if she wasn’t; according to Myles. There was so much silence. We can’t know if Rosie was reincarnated as Myles father--who in Ireland, was a mailman. This could be considered as magical thinking, as we feel sympathetic and the depth of sadness Myles experienced in the loss of her beloved pet. **With thanks to the Seattle Public Library.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    I'm conflicted about this book. Parts of it just seem heartless... I've lost beloved pets through the years and my heart still aches when I really think about them. The grief just doesn't seem to be in this book for me. I don't mean to say the author didn't grieve her pet, I am sure she did (I cried for weeks after the loss of each of my pet children). I will finish the book, but just not right now.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    4.5! Loved much of this, a lot. The essay on Foam as a concept/metaphor for thinking about knowledge/writing is my favorite, I think, but many of the doggo pieces are glorious and sui generis. Many adopt a style that is a kind of frothy walk / flaneur avec dog; and then there's Rosie (the dog) speaking from the dead, "ghostwriting". Myles is sometimes Jethro here, sometimes she, sometimes he, and Rosie, always, is god. Sometimes the pov rolls back and forth between Eileen and Rosie, and the effe 4.5! Loved much of this, a lot. The essay on Foam as a concept/metaphor for thinking about knowledge/writing is my favorite, I think, but many of the doggo pieces are glorious and sui generis. Many adopt a style that is a kind of frothy walk / flaneur avec dog; and then there's Rosie (the dog) speaking from the dead, "ghostwriting". Myles is sometimes Jethro here, sometimes she, sometimes he, and Rosie, always, is god. Sometimes the pov rolls back and forth between Eileen and Rosie, and the effect is startling, frustrating, funny -- the playfulness and premise both remind me of Yoko Tawada's Memoirs of a Polar Bear (a novel). These essays (it's really more collection than memoir) move with twitchy buoyancy, spark with a smartalecky glint, all held by, holding this kind of awe at the magnitude of love for this dog, Rosie: "I felt less ambivalently loving than I have ever felt in my life."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    I went into this with a very open mind. Having finished it, I'm left with very mixed feelings. The author certainly has a wonderful way with words and her affinity for poetry is obvious throughout. I just had some trouble at times keeping up with where she was going and who she was speaking as. Perhaps it's because I'm not familiar with her writing style, but I kept finding myself lost and having to backtrack a bit to figure out what she was talking about. I received an ARC from NetGalley, Grove I went into this with a very open mind. Having finished it, I'm left with very mixed feelings. The author certainly has a wonderful way with words and her affinity for poetry is obvious throughout. I just had some trouble at times keeping up with where she was going and who she was speaking as. Perhaps it's because I'm not familiar with her writing style, but I kept finding myself lost and having to backtrack a bit to figure out what she was talking about. I received an ARC from NetGalley, Grove Press, and the author, for my review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    It went on, and on, and on some more, and it still hadn't ended, and then there was another few chapters - 200 pages that seemed like 2000. The only analog that comes to mind is the film Melancholia.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robertha

    You see, it was this. The prose - was unreadable. I could have done with a poem like. Like, this. But not a full novela. It is. Exhausting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    sarah morgan

    I'm only half way through this memoir, but...wow! Imagine a poet writing about a dog, a beloved dog that has to be put down. Imagine the dog's perspective in all this. Innovative structure, beautiful writing; all in all a stunning work of genius. What. a. fantastic. book. Update, now that I've finished. There are riffs of gorgeous prose, a poet's ear for what is real/true. There are also places where Myles lost me completely. Her discussion of writing as foam, for instance. I was hanging in there I'm only half way through this memoir, but...wow! Imagine a poet writing about a dog, a beloved dog that has to be put down. Imagine the dog's perspective in all this. Innovative structure, beautiful writing; all in all a stunning work of genius. What. a. fantastic. book. Update, now that I've finished. There are riffs of gorgeous prose, a poet's ear for what is real/true. There are also places where Myles lost me completely. Her discussion of writing as foam, for instance. I was hanging in there for a bit and then it went all molecular on me and I couldn't figure out where she was going with it. The foam metaphor repeats itself. I found, like much poetry, I could not read this book straight through; I needed time to rest in between dense passages of both grief and Myles' stream of consciousness about her life. Worth reading but...hard.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    what a book. magic. never read anything like it. some sections I need to go back and spend more time with, were harder to understand. the structure and theme of story as tapestry really worked for me. well worth a second read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Rae

    As bizarre, crass, and hilarious as any other Eileen Myles book. I laughed a lot, I mostly had no idea what was going on, but I liked it. I will never get tired of the creative ways this woman talks about genitals.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    Although it gets a bit long in the tooth, I loved this. As a life-long dog person, about to get his own dog for the first time, it also hit me right in the sweetest of spots. Rosie seems like she was a good dog, perhaps one of the best, to inspire a work so multifaceted and silly and loving and heartfelt and weighty as this. And that Eileen Myles, she's not half-bad either.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Eileen Myles deserves her reputation as a startling frank and forthright poet, but I found her effort here to be too haphazard to rate more than two stars. While some parts of the book offer honest and heartfelt insight into the human and animal bond, one has to wade through far too much pretentious stream of consciousness crap to fully relax into the author's voice with any regularity. Myles is most effective when she is writing directly about her beloved pit bull, Rosie, or when she is channeli Eileen Myles deserves her reputation as a startling frank and forthright poet, but I found her effort here to be too haphazard to rate more than two stars. While some parts of the book offer honest and heartfelt insight into the human and animal bond, one has to wade through far too much pretentious stream of consciousness crap to fully relax into the author's voice with any regularity. Myles is most effective when she is writing directly about her beloved pit bull, Rosie, or when she is channeling her pup's voice from the after life. In those moments her writing voice rings true and clear, her insights appear effortlessly, and her honesty is so rewarding. At other moments, for example when Myles has her childhood sock puppet interview Rosie about her abuse by the author, I could respect that Myles was experimenting with narrative in a creative way, even if I did not get much from it. I also flipped my way through a number of wasted pages of conversation that were too confusing to pay much attention to. Who is speaking? What are they talking about? As a reader I felt excluded from whatever experience Myles was trying to offer here & fI wound up feeling quite annoyed by the coyness of it all. I really reached my limit though with the core of the book, which was consumed by a rambling, over intellectualized spasm of free association that spoke about foam but came across like being hit on the head with a verbal bat. I admit to a certain petty annoyance with writers that I feel stray too far into forms of mental masturbation that seems to wish to punish the reader for not understanding the greatness of the author when the author is obviously making every effort to be unattainable--think Borges, Pound, Nietzsche, et al--but I don't know that Myles was really trying to be obtuse here. I suppose I could see this sagging middle passage as another experiment but there was a rigidness and a righteousness to it that I just resisted and thoroughly disliked. I can imagine recommending this book to people who already appreciate Ms. Myles style, or to those who are willing to ride along with a writer as they explore different voices & different approaches. If you are coming to this book for a more straight forward and well told story about a girl and her dog though you might very well find yourself disappointed.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I think a lot of the time poets' prose efforts can be so packed that they're by nature uneven—I guess you can say the same for poetry as well. That's definitely the case with this book, and honestly I get the feeling that Myles would be just fine with the idea of taking what you want and leaving the rest. Some of it is just gorgeous, lyrical, madly associative and evocative. And some of it is just too dense or esoteric for the likes of me, and I was perfectly happy to read along and let some of I think a lot of the time poets' prose efforts can be so packed that they're by nature uneven—I guess you can say the same for poetry as well. That's definitely the case with this book, and honestly I get the feeling that Myles would be just fine with the idea of taking what you want and leaving the rest. Some of it is just gorgeous, lyrical, madly associative and evocative. And some of it is just too dense or esoteric for the likes of me, and I was perfectly happy to read along and let some of it settle to the bottom in order for the stuff that resonated for me to rise. Although she definitely stretches the definition of "a dog memoir," there is some marvelous writing on dogs, and about dog ownership in particular—both the intense scrutiny that's borne out of love and also the dilemma of all that tenderness and adoration weighed against the wrongness of leading another living being around by the neck. I love Myles's directness, often bordering on crudeness, and the love that shines through it all for her Rosie—"the physiognomy of dearness unsurpassed." This one takes a little suspension of the need to get every sentence, but the rewards are great.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    This book is for an audience that doesn’t include me. My bad. I thought it was a dog memoir and it’s really prose/poem/rumination.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kasia

    Some of this I found quite touching, but parts of it were too scattered and out there for me. No criticism meant at all, just not my thing. I loved hearing about Rosie, though.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sassafras Lowrey

    Eileen Myles writes about her dog? Obviously I had to read this one right away. This is a book of dogs and grief. It is a book of loss, and kinship and what happens if dogs wrote us poetry and letters. There were stories that made me (as an admittedly neurotic dog person ) uncomfortable, and stories about the end, about aging, failing bodies, and passing, that made my heart clench (while I anxiously pet my ancient canine sidekick). "Each writer is required to tell a dog's story and so dogs attac Eileen Myles writes about her dog? Obviously I had to read this one right away. This is a book of dogs and grief. It is a book of loss, and kinship and what happens if dogs wrote us poetry and letters. There were stories that made me (as an admittedly neurotic dog person ) uncomfortable, and stories about the end, about aging, failing bodies, and passing, that made my heart clench (while I anxiously pet my ancient canine sidekick). "Each writer is required to tell a dog's story and so dogs attach themselves to writers...." - Eileen Myles 'Afterglow (a dog memoir)'

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hayley

    I knew I shouldn't have attempted this book. I had to stop once he described Rosie being put to sleep. Nothing good could come from reading a sad story of a dog's death, even if in her life time she'd known happiness. This is a difficult book. Not just because of the subject matter, but because it's written as one stream of consciousness that wildly jumps around & goes off topic. A copy of this book was provided to me for free by NetGalley I knew I shouldn't have attempted this book. I had to stop once he described Rosie being put to sleep. Nothing good could come from reading a sad story of a dog's death, even if in her life time she'd known happiness. This is a difficult book. Not just because of the subject matter, but because it's written as one stream of consciousness that wildly jumps around & goes off topic. A copy of this book was provided to me for free by NetGalley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    When have you ever read a memoir about a dead dog where heroin is even mentioned, much less held up? Or where Hitler is compared to Kurt Cobain? How about the objectification of pan-sexual unicorns on biblical tapestries? But wait, there's more.... The book starts off right away with an ethereal punch, a letter from her dog's alleged legal council. It let me know straight away that this was not going to be some sappy doggie memoir. It was going to be witty and sharp and maybe a little weird. I mea When have you ever read a memoir about a dead dog where heroin is even mentioned, much less held up? Or where Hitler is compared to Kurt Cobain? How about the objectification of pan-sexual unicorns on biblical tapestries? But wait, there's more.... The book starts off right away with an ethereal punch, a letter from her dog's alleged legal council. It let me know straight away that this was not going to be some sappy doggie memoir. It was going to be witty and sharp and maybe a little weird. I mean the latter in the good sense of weird ~ it's original meaning being that one is in charge of their own destiny. For full disclosure, I just lost a beloved dog named Zoe in December. That's not why I read this book, I read it because it came highly recommended before Zoe's demise. It just happened to be in my stack of books to read and here I am having read it a month after Zoe died in my arms. The author is a good writer. She is wildly creative and marches to her own marching band. I would have enjoyed it more if I had read this before my dog died or even during. For most of the book, I found myself not being moved though sometimes I was humored. Pearls of wisdom do run throughout and I'm sure I missed some because of my plight. For the majority of the memoir, I couldn't get past the author's moat of words to the heart of things, to how she felt about her dog. What that life and loss meant. Yes, she does touch on it throughout, but being so raw myself as I read it, it felt stingy. The book flips from prose to poetry to letters to fantasy to dreams to biography to scripts to anything else the author pleases. The book at times reads like lazy Sunday memories. It's prose is often poetic, oftentimes a frantic avalanche of words. It's unconscious sometimes too. There were many morsels that made me pause, but most often I felt like I was eating too fast without tasting it. The author goes off on a lot of tangents, as she remembers before and after Rosie died, her dog of 16 years, but it felt authentic because that is how it is, as someone that just lost a dog last month, I can tell you, you ache and you move on and you remember and you think about what you might have done or could have done and as a writer, you write shit down. The other day something popped up on Facebok about it being six years since I rescued Zoe from the kill table. It was something I posted two years ago. I'm so glad I wrote about her without the sadness of her death looking over my shoulder. There is something beautiful about reading your dead dogs life when it wasn't known she was going soon. I wrote about her silent movie star eyebrows that can only be seen when she used them, how she walked like Marilyn Monroe in "Some Like it Hot," and how when walking in her hood, whenever she saw a big dog, she would get a mohawk up her back and seem to say "You want a piece of me?! Ya wanna piece of me!!" But she was cool off the leash at the dog park and chill everywhere else. As the author got closer to the end of the book and let's the dog take over, something hit me. While the dog's voice is nothing like that of the author's, I get that throughout the memoir when it seems the dog is nowhere in sight, the dog has been there all along like a breath or a heartbeat, underneath the surface. When the author touches on the mass extermination of dogs, the Nazi-like gassing of them (she doesn't name Nazis, that's me), I thought of my Zoe that just died and how I rescued her on the day she was fated to die in the shelter six years ago this January. She had only been there three days and she was going to be whacked. For being old maybe (how dare she age), for being shy maybe (that will get you killed as fast as being aggressive in a shelter), for being a chihuahua (the two breeds they have most of are chihuahuas and pitbulls, so dime a dozen they make the list quick, my rescue poodle Bailey got a month and he's crazy as fuck, but he's a poodle, God shelters are racist on some level). It was poignant when her dog sees the author trying to figure out if she loves enough. The dog clarifies that she does not. This was deep, because compared to dogs, very few of us love as undiluted as they. Though not always, especially when a dog has been mistreated or abused, but even then, even when everything has gone so terribly wrong for a dog, they can learn to live again and be happier than any human being. How are they so happy to see us every time. Every goddamned time. Toward the end, the author discusses her ancestors and then jumps into her dogs afterlife and before life and life life. The author got to the meat of it when she writes how dogs bring humans back from the deliberate apartness from ourselves. This is so true. When a friend died a few years ago on the phone when talking to me, I was broken. I didn't want to do anything, but because I had two dogs, I had to go outside, I had to walk them, they were more than happy to lay with me as I cried or stared off into space, they were my rocks and my lifeline. The dogs brought me back. The feeling I had when finishing the memoir is a life lived, the dog, the human. It was a swirl, a mad dash, yet when it's all written down and done, it's life was rich. I didn't get it until the end exactly why all the rave reviews and I don't mean that to say that she isn't a great writer or that the end is where it's at. It's part of a whole, it's part of the fabric. Just as the dogs in my life are part of who I am. The ending helped me see the whole memoir more clearly.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paulina

    A fugue of a book Since about June which was when the fits began I'd wake up every morning thinking about it and unable to plan the future because of it not knowing where to be and frankly also feeling a little chased out of town by all the different kinds of young women. I felt overwhelmed by them. A college town is like totally bugged. You can't be old. You can't be invisible. You're just walking around being lonely. That's why everyone's married. You're either wrapped or unwrapped. There's to A fugue of a book Since about June which was when the fits began I'd wake up every morning thinking about it and unable to plan the future because of it not knowing where to be and frankly also feeling a little chased out of town by all the different kinds of young women. I felt overwhelmed by them. A college town is like totally bugged. You can't be old. You can't be invisible. You're just walking around being lonely. That's why everyone's married. You're either wrapped or unwrapped. There's too much youth. That's the job. It's too erotic. I came with someone and it didn't last. I had you. pg. 19 So I'm deciding what lives in California and what comes to New York. I think the pillow stays west. The best line I ever wrote is: I long for a king's progress from place to private place. A king is always home and that's what I want. pg. 53 OK there's just something hopelessly queer about foam. pg. 99 The dog's meat makes me sad. Why didn't I give her all the meat. All the milk - I didn't drink the mil last night when I couldn't sleep so I could have the milk now with my cereal & I don't want it. There's not enough time for anything and the sun is shining and life oh did I miss it, you, did I miss everything? Did I miss you - oh God - I fall into it. pg. 182 To be a deep and constant well of sadness is a very real thing but it does not mean that you should go either right or left. It just means you are a well. You need to go on and especially now you need to go fast. Because you want to covert some land in the time you've got left. I need to finish this tapestry, be done with your book and resume my own travelling. pg. 186 Gertrude Stein is a very great weaver. All writers who use the sonic mode in writing are returning the fruits to the cave. pg. 192 The pressure of the letter is great. The last great thing about letter writing was cursive and not it is gone. Cursive was a photograph of the nerves of the writer. So though the load of the letter was great the flying hand like a bird told the inside of the cave of the writer. It is abstracted stuff. The pressure of the light particles is great inside matter. Imagine when there are no pictures. Each letter rolls in front of a cave and shuts out the light. What else does it do. The last great thing was the typewritten letter. The weight of the body on the tap tap tapping machine. The choice of paper. Often usually the hand has written the address on the outside of the envelope. Often the body has moistened the stamp and has stuck it on. Less involved we tear a piece away and we stick it on now. Possibly a hair may get caught in the pressure of that. A dirty person will leave something if not spit. But how is the mailman against the letter itself. He carries the world. Women too. The US post office is the most gender-neutral division of the US government. She carries the compacted dreams. The language implodes each time. I have sent her thirty-six letters of my love towards the end of a century. My wildest love never before offered in print. pg. 194

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I love Eileen Myles and LOVED the first third of this book. Super fresh from the loss of my dearest furry friend, Rishi, her initial words were soothing and relatable: "I like to be alone. But then I need to talk to someone. I like god. When I was a child I was taught there was someone listening and I chanced tiny hellos that frequently felt empty but longer conversations often silences felt like I was sitting in an enormous radio, like I had big headhpones on when I felt separated from the world I love Eileen Myles and LOVED the first third of this book. Super fresh from the loss of my dearest furry friend, Rishi, her initial words were soothing and relatable: "I like to be alone. But then I need to talk to someone. I like god. When I was a child I was taught there was someone listening and I chanced tiny hellos that frequently felt empty but longer conversations often silences felt like I was sitting in an enormous radio, like I had big headhpones on when I felt separated from the world but tuned into this show. And that' where you came in. Whether you listen or not, you're in there too. My dog. You're a part of the great silent show of this morning's sun." "I took such good care of her when she was dying. I relished it. She made me go slow." "But I'm still carrying that little dead dog. The new fat around my hips and waist is kind of you and how we don't go on our walks anymore...I go on walks and stand on the beach in the forest with no one. I feel sad and remain a nervous person. Because when something's gone from your life it's like the hole a giant rock leaves when it hits a pond it doesn't just go. It makes ripples and ripple from them and slowly the circles move out. I've been swaying in this all year. I know eventually I'll be new without you. But meanwhile I feel sort of feminized by this loss. I feel fat." "A dog's silence is often construed as love. After some trip people would say she really loves you. She acts different when you're around. I'd say really? Cause honestly I never really knew how much you cared about me. You liked snow, and rain and air and sun and the beach. You loved these things and I brought you to them and you smiled. I suppose I could've imagined you loved me then but I only knew I loved you because I saw you in my way and I was listening. And you simply were. I loved you for that. For being who else was in my life no matter what." After that? WTF.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Diane Payne

    I didn't realize this book was so short since the ARC was for Kindle. When I got to the end, I knew I hadn't read that rigorously, and I judged the book differently, as if it was a collection of poems, though it was an experimental poetic memoir of sort. If this was Myles' first book, her readers may not be so generous with the reviews. But, if like me, you've read more of her work, you may be more forgiving and more humored by the audacity and, at times, what may feel like lunacy. Who doesn't e I didn't realize this book was so short since the ARC was for Kindle. When I got to the end, I knew I hadn't read that rigorously, and I judged the book differently, as if it was a collection of poems, though it was an experimental poetic memoir of sort. If this was Myles' first book, her readers may not be so generous with the reviews. But, if like me, you've read more of her work, you may be more forgiving and more humored by the audacity and, at times, what may feel like lunacy. Who doesn't experience a sense of lunacy when enduring grief? Grief is maddening. In the beginning of the book, I was deeply connected with the memoir. Being a pet person, and one who does all I can until there is no more left to do, I could relate with how she cared for her 16 year old pit bull. And I wasn't surprised when the father/self connections to alcoholism surfaced because grief tends to create an opening for getting wasted. When the book shifted to the interview with Eileen's childhood puppet asking questions of Rosie the Dead Dog, at first I thought, damn straight, let the dog speak. Then the dog spoke and spoke and spoke until the book ended, and I almost felt like I was played (since I didn't know the ending was near--maybe "page numbers" or that percentage Kindle thing were intentionally left off the galley for the surprise effect, or because of the photos in the book, or it existed but I just didn't see it. Either way: She loved her dog and here's the tribute. Eileen believed her dog was her father reincarnated, so the memoir also was a tribute of sorts to him also. Eileen was lucky her dog was her father. Makes me wonder if a few of my pets were reincarnations of less pleasant people in my life. I didn't learn enough the first time round, so damn it, maybe next time.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I am an open-minded reader of many a genre, but I found Afterglow neither dog memoir, poetry, emotional—nor interesting. I know the author can write, judging from a passage like this one: “The last great thing about letter writing was cursive and it is gone. Cursive was a photograph of the nerves of the writer. So though the load of the letter was great the flying hand like a bird told the inside of the cave of the writer. It is abstracted stuff. The pressure of the light particles is great insid I am an open-minded reader of many a genre, but I found Afterglow neither dog memoir, poetry, emotional—nor interesting. I know the author can write, judging from a passage like this one: “The last great thing about letter writing was cursive and it is gone. Cursive was a photograph of the nerves of the writer. So though the load of the letter was great the flying hand like a bird told the inside of the cave of the writer. It is abstracted stuff. The pressure of the light particles is great inside matter. Imagine when there are no pictures. Each letter rolls in front of a cave and shuts out the light. What else does it do. The last great thing was the typewritten letter. The weight of the body on the tap tap tapping machine. The choice of paper. Often usually the hand has written the address on the outside of the envelope. Often the body has moistened the stamp and stuck it on. Less involved we tear a piece away and we stick it on now. Possibly a hair may get caught in the pressure of that. A dirty person will leave something if not spit. But how is the mailman against the letter itself. He carries the world. Women too. The US post office is the most gender-neutral division of the US government. She carries the compacted dreams. The language implodes each time.” But too much of the book was taken up with passages like this one: “For the darkness is the darkness of the dog inside the womb which is the boat. Let me say that again: For the darkness is the darkness of the dog inside the womb which is the boat.” That may appeal to some, but not to me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Solita

    Well, I guess this goes over my head, because for much of it, reading it, I was confused. Clarity goes in and out. For me, anyway. I'm following along, and then I'm lost. I'm like, huh? Emotionally, the most difficult part to read was "The Rape of Rosie." What a terrible thing to do. Does Myles feel remorse? Is this why she writes about it? I hated reading it, and I hate that she did this to her beloved dog. Animals aren't dumb, humans are. I didn't feel remorse or sorrow in the writing, in her Well, I guess this goes over my head, because for much of it, reading it, I was confused. Clarity goes in and out. For me, anyway. I'm following along, and then I'm lost. I'm like, huh? Emotionally, the most difficult part to read was "The Rape of Rosie." What a terrible thing to do. Does Myles feel remorse? Is this why she writes about it? I hated reading it, and I hate that she did this to her beloved dog. Animals aren't dumb, humans are. I didn't feel remorse or sorrow in the writing, in her relating of this event. It felt emotionally cold. That bothers me. I admire her intelligence. She's a thinker, she is knowledgeable. So, is this avant garde writing? Or is it messy? To me, it feels messy. Sometimes I'm wondering, well, where's the part about Rosie? What has this to do with Rosie? It feels like pieces of writing pieced together with some about Rosie. But even some of the Rosie chapters didn't really seem to be about Rosie. That whole Post Office thing. What? So, if it's Rosie writing this, dictating this, Rosie's "voice" in Myles's head, is it about Rosie? I really wanted to love it. But I hardly like it. I can't help but think, when you're a celebrity, everyone around you goes gaga, and if I don't get it, it's because I lack the intelligence. I really had to force myself to keep going, because I wanted it to all come together in the end. But it doesn't. It still feels haphazard to me. And really, I hate to say it, uninteresting. Is it foam? Is that the point? I don't know.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Eileen Myles is a poet. Afterglow, like most of her other prose work, perches just on the edge of narrative, sliding frequently into the realm of poetry and metaphor. Though billed as a "Dog Memoir" it is much less straightforward than that. Myles' dog, Rosie, is the fulcrum on which this book swings, but really it explores many larger issues of death and dying, the relationship of humans with dogs, and where we all belong in this world. Afterglow is exactly what you'd expect from Eileen Myles: Eileen Myles is a poet. Afterglow, like most of her other prose work, perches just on the edge of narrative, sliding frequently into the realm of poetry and metaphor. Though billed as a "Dog Memoir" it is much less straightforward than that. Myles' dog, Rosie, is the fulcrum on which this book swings, but really it explores many larger issues of death and dying, the relationship of humans with dogs, and where we all belong in this world. Afterglow is exactly what you'd expect from Eileen Myles: Hard, truthful, funny, sad, uncomfortable and beautiful. I would recommend this book to fans of Myles' work, and folks who don't mind a bit of a literary challenge. Dog lovers be forewarned: Heart-wrenching dog stuff ahead. FULL DISCLOSURE: I received an ARC from Grove Press/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jen Hirt

    Here's my suggestions for understanding the brilliance of this book. Think of it this way: Puppies...puppets...photo of Rosie on page 173, she looks like a sock puppet. Letter from Rosie....Rosie is the father...puppet for the lost father Dogs and mailmen, a thing....mailmen bring letters "All mailmen are dogs" (pg. 193)..."A letter is like a dream of a thought" (pg. 195). postal blue...blue water and foam...pit bulls as "the last fish"...Rosie's ashes in the blue water "The holiest people live by the Here's my suggestions for understanding the brilliance of this book. Think of it this way: Puppies...puppets...photo of Rosie on page 173, she looks like a sock puppet. Letter from Rosie....Rosie is the father...puppet for the lost father Dogs and mailmen, a thing....mailmen bring letters "All mailmen are dogs" (pg. 193)..."A letter is like a dream of a thought" (pg. 195). postal blue...blue water and foam...pit bulls as "the last fish"...Rosie's ashes in the blue water "The holiest people live by the sea with their dogs" (pg. 83). Memoir as tapestry. And: "How much would have changed if one dog one day did not show up" (pg. 127).

  26. 4 out of 5

    MrsIcarusPain

    I went in thinking it was a book from a dog's perspective. I knew nothing about the author so what I expected was not what I got. There is alot of pontification and naval gazing (the author even mentions this) about gender identity, sexuality, even reincarnation. If you know about this author already then you most likely will enjoy this book and it's stream of conscious layout. If you're like me and you picked up a random book hoping to find a story from the perspective of a dog, you'd probably I went in thinking it was a book from a dog's perspective. I knew nothing about the author so what I expected was not what I got. There is alot of pontification and naval gazing (the author even mentions this) about gender identity, sexuality, even reincarnation. If you know about this author already then you most likely will enjoy this book and it's stream of conscious layout. If you're like me and you picked up a random book hoping to find a story from the perspective of a dog, you'd probably be a bit dissapointed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    A kaleidoscope indeed. This is quite the book. It moves in time, space, and perspective. It's not about the dog and it is about the dog. Rosie was one lucky canine to have been adopted by Myles, who loved her if not herself. I likely would not have picked this. up if I had not been granted an ARC by Netgalley. I'm glad I read it even if I found it both mystifying and frustrating. Try this for a very different sort of memoir.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I really enjoyed about 30-40% of this book. There were a few little bits that broke format, and were really interesting, and providing a fresh perspective that were easy to get into. There were a few sections that were wicked, wicked long seas of words that were way to hard to get ahold of. I felt like the time in college I tried to read Tropic of Cancer and it was like, what the fuck is this? It was a good enough book, but I'm glad it's over.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pearse

    Who doesn't personify their pets in some way? It was a fun read, and I like her style (simple, says a lot with few words). Kinda meandered when she started talking about gender in her speeches, but I get that it was related to her relationship with Rosie. Maybe she just needed to add some pages so it wouldn't be too short of a book to market? Would definitely recommend it for anyone who might have just lost a loved canine or feline.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This book has some great moments, and Eileen Myles is such a great mind I had to give it a four. But parts of it were a little esoteric and spoke in a poets language that was hard for me to fully grasp/appreciate. But all in all I really enjoyed the book. It was a pretty quick read, but at the same time it makes you work. It definitely succeeded at ehay might be, for me, one of the most important tests - it made me want to read more of her writing.

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