Book Review: "Some of the Times" by Gina Myers
Gina Myers’ Some of the Times (Barrelhouse Books, 2020) is a preservation of awareness and a wake-up call to action. From her time in Philadelphia to her return to the remnants of Saginaw, Myers introduces readers to not only her perception, her reflections, and wonder, but the follies inescapable by us all. She questions life in a capitalistic society, “placated by a paycheck” (“To Do”), and asks, “How much is a concept of security?” (“Risk Transfer”).
Myers addresses her readers through these questions, which leaves room for their own ruminations. I felt compelled to inscribe notes throughout the margins, writing as if replying in conversation. I kept the concept of accountability in mind as Myers leads by example, questioning her place within these spaces. She asks, “When does bearing witness become exploitative?” (“Saginaw (A Documentary)”) and discloses “I guess I’m not telling its story/ I’m just telling a story” (“Philadelphia”). There are layers of vulnerability laced in the bluntness of the speaker’s confessions, which I find the most relatable. “There is an anger I carry / inside that I will never / let go of…” (“4.8.14”).
Each page varies in length and structure, frequently avoiding punctuation, which conveys a sense of continuation; this, and the placement of line breaks, contribute to the list-like flow of the writing. Myers catalogs what she absorbs, from daily news, illness, loneliness, decay, as well as comradeship. Often philosophical, “Some of The Times” prompts its readers to evaluate their own framework for construction.