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. Back up just a minute. 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. She fought
for it, she won it.
*the space, btw, is not political . . .
the action - the attainment of the space,
what happens within the space, the
continuing saga of the space (its
definition, its day-to-day life) is
the political . . .
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 another
* * * * *
I love Eileen Myles, even if not in the specific.
I love Eileen Myles, without qualification, without
reservation. Not that she needs it, but she's
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.
*and it is the struggle that is political
(obviously), the public struggle for public
space . . . well, that's the political matter,
what? haven't you been paying attention . . .
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 they
wouldn't fucking know. Sometimes I don't fucking
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
Lake Leelanau 8/20/2013