Wish she hadn't included a damaging spoiler for the now-defunct hit detective show The Killing
as I am only into the beginning of the second season. But other than that lame and selfish act the book was a rather fine read. Smith is most definitely into talismans, as am I to a degree, but she places far more significant spiritual value to her artifacts than I do. I simply keep around me the things that turn me on. She also performs her version of a litany for important activities such as visiting an author's grave site, washing the stone, clearing the weeds, lighting a candle, and reciting a few chosen words to mark the occasion of her visit. It seems memory plays a large part also in her daily activities, and any time she can conjure her dead husband, icon, or this spectre of a cowboy most likely named Sam Shepard, she does. She obviously really likes visiting with these people and writing about it. Patti Smith also has an infinity for The Beats
, who I personally abhor and cannot express how much they disgust me with their awful poetry and theatrical recitations suggesting they occupy some higher standing than the rest of us. But Patti must be forgiven, and is, as she truly is an artist of the first rank, at least when she adheres to her own originality. And if you've ever seen her when she is moved to express her body, wafting within a song, she is a goddess of dance.