Lynn Breedlove: punk novelist

Great piece on Lynn Breedlove today on Salon. Lynn wrote a brilliant novel about speed, punk, bike-messengers and genderbending, called godspeed that I finished a couple weeks ago. I did a reading with Lynn in June and was blown away by the ferocity of the book, and once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.

Though less mean and very sober, Lynn Breedlove still looks more or less like the kid on the cover of her novel, "Godspeed," with maybe a decade or two of seniority. That kid has a blue mohawk, a neck tattoo, the word "F-U-C-K" tattooed on his knuckles, and he's sitting on a Dumpster with a paper-bagged 40 oz. brew in his hand and a bike at his feet. Breedlove still has the bike and the blue hair, along with a few tattoos, but she no longer snacks on malt liquor. The kid, who appears in photographs throughout the book, is actually a former roadie for Breedlove's band, a perfectly apt alter ego for Jim, Breedlove's speed-freak, stripper-dating punk-rock dyke heroine, who is something of an alter ego for Breedlove herself.

"Godspeed" is not an autobiography, though Breedlove does call it a roman à clef. Jim, a punk dyke bike messenger, is addicted in equal parts to her stripper girlfriend, Ally Cat, her bike and speed, though the three competing habits have a tendency to cancel one another out. Breedlove also was once a speed freak, a dater of strippers and a bike messenger. (She founded Lickety Split Couriers, an all-girl bike messenging service, in 1991.) And she went on the road with Tribe 8 throughout the United States and Europe, as well as touring with Sister Spit, a lesbian spoken-word performance-art collective.