Some of the Times
Author: Gina Myers
Publisher: Barrelhouse Books (2020)
Those who are familiar with Gina Myers' previous work will be pleased to see Some of the Times build from the same base of social consciousness while also pushing in new directions. Myers captures what it feels like to live in this era of late capitalism in a way that few other poets do. This is a book for those who suffer and endure and laugh about the suffering later.
"In Gina Myers' Some of the Times, Myers addresses herself, her heart, the night, and her anti-capitalist comrades with a downbeat struggle, a night wakefulness tempered always by reality. Here, the city's sirens and burnt out ruins run the same temperature as an off-handed pass me the cigarettes. Their multiple modes—photojournalistic documentary about Saginaw, litany of brushes with death—all portray the decline of American life with profound melancholia always leaning towards the jocular. With echoes of Niedecker, Myles, and Schuyler, these poems lower your guard, then break your heart; You'll want to leave them where someone else can find them—a bench, or on a bus."
"A daughter of deindustrialized Saginaw, Gina Myers is sensitively attuned to forms of capitalist ruin: the city long after the factory closes, the wage earner barely getting by in a shit job. Whether surveying the blight and arson of her hometown or settling into a gentrifying Philadelphia, Myers tallies the manifold promises capitalism offers and never keeps: 'There is an anger I carry / inside that I will never / let go of. Something basic / to hold onto while everything / else disappears.' A daybook of alienated labor and catcalls, chronic illness and summer heat, bad Philly landlords and losing sports teams, Some of the Times is also a daybook of pleasures leveraged against exploitation and misogyny, songs a worker sings to survive her work, songs a lover sings to guard her heart."