Patti Smith loves coffee. It courses through her new memoir, “M Train,” like a dark, steaming river, connecting her various adventures. In her early twenties, Smith travelled to Veracruz, Mexico, on the advice of William S. Burroughs, who advised her that the best coffee beans in the world were grown in the mountains there, but she’s no snob: a large serving from 7-Eleven—accompanied, on occasion, by a glazed doughnut—will do, if necessary. She could, she informs the reader rather casually, “drink fourteen cups without compromising my sleep.” Is it caffeine that gives Smith her trembling sensibility? She writes—and, judging by her memoirs, acts—as if the world were brimful with the divine.
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