Before Patti Smith was a rock-and-roller, she was a poet. Well, she was an artist in search of a medium. So was Robert Mapplethorpe—they were a couple. And when they stopped being a couple, they continued to inspire one another. But at the time, they lived in the 70s NYC art world. The result is an interesting, if sometimes painful memoir. Artists you've heard of keep popping up in the story. Mapplethorpe, then pretty much unknown, wanted very much to be appreciated by the established artists; and maybe that helped his own success after all. Patti didn't direct her career, seems to bumble—but she did become a rock-and-roll star and thus brought her poetry to many many people. So maybe career-bumbling is OK, if you can make up for it by devotion to craft. There are bits here about the inspiration behind works, of the struggle to bring art into being, to refine it.