Thursday, November 5, 2015

M Train by Patti Smith

I made the mistake of assumption with this book. I assumed it was similar to Just Kids, which I read back in 2010. I assumed I could take this book around with me - it did fit nicely in my purse - and just pick up and read when I had spare time. I assumed a lot. M Train is not Just Kids. M Train commands you to sit down, sit still and have a beverage in solitude. M Train demands that you lose yourself and walk with Patti.

At first, I just didn't want to keep reading. Smith is incredibly non-linear in M Train, floating between past, present, dream and reality. It was often hard to decipher where I was. That frustrated me to no end. But I kept going and finally, poured some bourbon, got under the blankets on my couch and just let go. Non-linear prose, be damned.

It amazes me how Patti makes serial crime dramas, coffee and cats lyrical. But that is one of the reasons I listen to her music as well. Travel with Smith and Fred, mourn Fred, travel with Smith to where the wind takes her. Look at her photos, read her books and watch as she struggles to write (and say hi to the cowboy).

There is no plot, no grand plan to this book. Just go with. In the end, it's a beautiful journey.

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