things i like
I saw Eileen Myles read at The Machine Project in Los Angeles last night.
It was fantastic.
The space was super warm and inviting. I went to the reading alone, and that was just fine. I hate going to these things with people that may not like it as much as me-- there's some sorta weird guilt or nervousness I feel about it all.
I remember Eileen reading at Naropa University and I remember her fighting with Anne Waldman in a great way-- in the way that only good friends can fight openly and smile about it all afterwards.
I remember reading Cool for You and really being inspired to live life poetically in addition to writing poems or articles or stories.
Living poetically, to me, extends beyond just working for the traditional colleges.
I remember working at the homeless shelter and as a caregiver for terminally ill patients and as a production assistant and as an associate producer and as a cleaning lady and how I thought-- yes, this is what that means.
That was a long time ago.
I forgot about the amazing confidence Eileen has while reading. The way she holds herself in a way that is a true extension of the work, not too much and not too less.
I forgot about how the work hangs there and how people in the audience sometimes relate so well to the ideas that you can hear delicate murmurs of recognition such as "ah" or "oh" throughout the sea of heads.
Her latest book The Importance of Being Iceland is a collection of pieces on travel and art.
Her accent makes me miss Boston.
I like how she talks about art and poetry as experience with a certain thoughtful smart-mouth.
My old Boston friend said that her Midwestern husband calls this quality or sensibility or tone something like "whiplash" and I thought that was great.
Eileen has a certain poetic whiplash.
It reminds me to keep doing what I am doing and to do it proudly and horribly and to not ever stop. Forget about what I should be or what the "academy of anything" says I should be.
I just need to be. . . . and I need to be working.
Here is a great selection of something Eileen wrote recently for the poetry foundation's blog. I truly enjoyed reading it. Maybe you will like it too---
It's called Yoga for Losers II.