Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles Poems

She's rubbing his shoulder
and he's reading about
Western birds. There's a scoop
of light just above my knee

I am always hungry
& wanting to have
sex. This is a fact.

I was born in Boston in
1949. I never wanted
this fact to be known, in
fact I've spent the better

was when the
lights were


Close to the
door in
my dream the

Billie Holiday was on the radio
I was standing in the kitchen
smoking my cigarette of this


You're like
a little fruit
you're like
a moon I want

I was 6 and
I lost my snake.

I have utmost
respect for you
but in that


Roads around mountains
cause we can't drive

I'm proud
that I fed my avocado
to the mice this

To see that scattered dust
around the hole

I felt dis-
appointed the apple had
been spared
the throbbing
soup, home

he said it's a storm
it's a storm I thought
am I allowed
to ask entire questions
to take this
space alone

you bobbing
you painted in my dog's
face so care-

some kind of violence
stretches the thought so
long and allows the horns
of   words to touch each
other. I think of   him

this much space.

you don't know about this
dish towel
for that matter

who was I in another time
giving the tails so much

puzzled that these spices
went someplace else
they did today in a sandwich

the empty hall into which I am
the empty country
an entire country
I wanted all of them

how I would like
just one to pick
things up in
its cities and its rain

its coast
the outer coat

78 rpm
cat on a porch
and other countries
& home ready for me
when I have
something to say or

if ever
my empty mistakes
my empty vase
my empty powers of   horror
my empty sex

o bring the snow

that rat's death
killed me because i
would see it for days
over and over and
it hardly could be the same
rat whose insides
whisked the street

we don't think that war
is such an incredible
mess but it was
just yesterday
and in ancient poems
years ago in the past

dying the balloon just
bursts it cannot

bring u back again

the huge cool breath
the lake doesn't want
you anymore or her
arms her sweet
muff or breast the storm
the past.

but no I won't leave
my cheese out for them
anymore and I must be
the last person in the world
in new york to read him
who told us about mice

that sing & fill empty auditoriums
like us and our singing hearts
our formula for bringing
it out. Pulling the receptacle
apart watch the tiny ship
floating on it

I ducked the tail edging over

taking a little bit more. The price
of wider concepts is not
choosing your drops oh
flicking me off reminding
me of you everyone yell at once

Two Rabbit legs jutting out

I keep my childhood
around almost more than every-
one and a mouse can share
my house wet toot tootsie

it's kind of great the whole
thing is relative. Since I ad-
mired his mountains I imagin-
ed I was in his landscapes

but opening packages is occurring
all over the place. That's a
strong image and I feel like
the smallness is directly rooted

forgetting to use the new cal-
endar I planned. These
marks (I imagined) are the sources

all the milk flooding wildly
over the rolling hills and out of
the sun's comical eyes. Not tears
but creamy drops
of  mammalian weather.

I'm given real information
and the most difficult part
is blindly creating the space
where the parts I can't
see or even hear spread out
(like the night in Paris when
I walked to the movies
) onto my desk and the surrounding
hills into the bleachers where everyone
is pounding themselves bloody
in salute of the hunt

all I ever wanted was dinner
or at least his
love the delight I see

in him is equally empty for anyone
& probably that's his
stealth. Inner lake. There's a car a maroon
a colourless oval I can imagine the
seats and the feeling of hearing
a song as we're weaving
over hills. There's no break. Ev-
erybody I ever saw in my
seacoast community is already
facing the problems huge and
gloomy I grant you and the
night spills on my keys which
are splayed over the counter and
outside it's light. & they are flip-
ping their cards every one of

Eileen Myles Biography

Eileen Myles is an American poet who has also worked in fiction, non-fiction, and theater. She won a 2010 Shelley Memorial Award. Early Life and Career Eileen Myles grew up and attended Catholic schools in Arlington, Massachusetts and graduated from U. Mass (Boston) in 1971. Arriving in New York in 1974, Myles gave her first reading at CBGB and attended workshops at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, studying alongside Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan, and Bill Zavatsky. She developed as a part of the poetry and queer art scene that developed in Manhattan's East Village. She worked as assistant to poet James Schuyler; met Allen Ginsberg at the Nuyorican Poets Café. Her first performances and theater pieces (Joan of Arc: a spiritual entertainment, Patriarchy, a play, Feeling Blue Pts. 1, 2 7 3 and Modern Art and Our Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz) at the St. Mark's Poetry Project, P.S. 122 and The WOW Café. Myles has performed her work at colleges, performance spaces, and bookstores across North America as well as in, Iceland, Ireland and Russia. She lives in New York. Myles's works include poetry, fiction, articles, plays and libretti, including: Hell (an opera with composer Michael Webster). Professional Life In 1992 Myles conducted a female-led write-in campaign for President of the United States. In the 1980s she was Artistic Director of St. Mark's Poetry Project. In 1997 and again in 2007 Eileen toured with Sister Spit, a post-punk female performance troupe. Myles is Professor Emerita of Writing and Literature, and taught at University of California, San Diego from 2002 to 2007. She continues to teach during summers at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and was the Hugo Writer at University of Montana for the spring of 2010. She contributes to several publications, recently including Parkett, aNother Magazine, the Believer, H.O.W journal and Provincetown Arts. During summer 2009 she contributed regularly to the Poetry Foundation's "Harriet" blog. Critical Reception Bust Magazine has called Myles "the rock star of modern poetry", and Holland Cotter in The New York Times described her as "a cult figure to a generation of post-punk female writer-performers." Of her poetry book Sorry, Tree, the Chicago Review wrote: "Her politics are overt, her physicality raw, yet it is the subtle gentle noticing in her poems that overwhelms." In 2010, her novel Inferno won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction.)

The Best Poem Of Eileen Myles


She's rubbing his shoulder
and he's reading about
Western birds. There's a scoop
of light just above my knee

it resembles the world, the one I know
a layer of smoke spread thin, a shelf

my mind returns again &
again to the picture
you gave me. In pain.
I'm holding the receiver
in Denver some woman making
human eyes at me from her
blue seat, but I later
conclude she's crazy

I'm helpless, rushing back to fix the
"h," how can I help you

I think we tried this long enough
our cure
we would save us from everybody
else, we "got" it,

and now we're another falling down car
complaining animal
empty house

you bleeding & expanding

the red night itself
is your endless disappointment
in me
who promised so much
on that hill

O Glory to everybody & everything
that we will fish again & again
& get lucky

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