Turns out they were wrong, all those years ago.
It's space I need, not a voice. Eileen Myles
hacking through underbrush, and how does one
wield a machete at once casually and with
Wait. I, in fact, have been granted space, as has
Eileen Myles. It is the space itself that is the problem,
in both our cases. Seems I'm king of the whole
goddamn world, thank you very much,
while Eileen is . . . something else. At least,
they all told her that, and she sez we're
all, Kennedys, we're all normal, I'm the most
beautiful poet in the universe, I'm the only
one in the room with bleeding gums tonight,
I'm the only homosexual in the room tonight,
I'm really stepping off the flag now. Eileen Myles
Betsy Rossed the whole fucking thing. The flag is
hers now. The space is hers now.
I am no more interested in literary tourism now
than when I had Bukowski foisted upon me. Even
more, I have no fucks to give for New York, and
one fuck less to give for Boston. I'm drinking cheap
scotch, and it's a piss poor replacement for decent
bourbon. This Ravel is on my last nerve. I'm
jumping around - Wagner, Prokofiev, Mussorgsky,
Shostakovich, even Tim Hecker - and nothing
can quiet the vibrations in my head. Nothing
can quiet the stabbing displacement behind my
eyes. Nothing can still the disgust that convulses
my hand. This private fiasco is looking for a center,
looking for a steadying hand, looking for a glass of
In the meantime, Eileen Myles has given up
writing a great poem, given up birthing an art
bigger than everybody else's, an art that makes
everybody feel alone. I, on the other hand, am
a fucking idiot. I will try to destroy humanity,
I will try to write a great poem. Resting safe
in the knowledge, imparted to me by Eileen Myles,
that I never will. To be left with one final task,
to draw nobility onto failure. To take failure back,
to make it something else, to send it along
* * * * *
There is defiance in the machete work. That is easy
to latch onto. THIS IS THE GROUND UPON WHICH
WE MEET. The ground is hers, the battles are won
and lost, it's the fight that counts.
Eileen Myles has her shit to deal with. I have mine.
She's a lesbian and her teeth are falling out. I have
cheap shitty scotch, and Ravel is pissing me off.
"It's all in the struggle" they say, and it is, but
what the fuck does that mean anyway?
Eileen Myles finds love. I find soda water for the scotch.
Eileen Myles sees a dentist, Debussy follows Ravel.
Love is immanent. Cheap scotch with soda still makes
a decent drink.
Eileen Myles never wrote a poem so big
that everyone felt alone. She's tried, but she failed.
I've tried, but I've failed. Time to celebrate.