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Intimate in Pace

By Eileen Myles

I’m trying to cure myself of the blogging late in the month syndrome PARTICULARLY because this month is my last month of blogging. To get to the quick of it I think well why am I not blogging now. Well because I have a new book and I’m obsessed in a way that figures directly on that reality so I’m not blogging directly on my new book so I’m not blogging. But that’s crazy because I think one intimate aspect of blogging is figuring out how to write about what you are doing. I just had my book party. How was it? Good! I’ve thought before about an anthology I don’t want to edit called TOUR in which poets and writers but I think I prefer it be all poets contribute their tour stories. I love this idea. I also love the idea of blogging on every aspect of a poet’s career, creating kind of an encyclopedia of what one of our careers is. I’ll do the book party right now. I just received a piece of mail from Nathan who was at the party and I kind of gasped at how quickly his mail got to me – two days from event to event. Since New York mail has been pretty bad and I am the last person to say this in print or disparage the US postal service because I am a DAP (daughter of an American Postal worker) I am happy to report on its goodness. The goodness also reflects on time passing –two days since the party. Time to report. People who weren’t there say how was your party. I say this: it was intimate in pace. It’s a thrilling detail I’ll share. The party took place at ArtBook@x which is a temporary bookstore project of DAP – coincidence! It’s true, this DAP means Distributed Art Publishers. They have an office and have also had a bookstore or do at PS1 but in the last year they have done the coolest thing which is to have book parties in temporary spaces – a little boutique in the east village will in the evening move the clothes racks aside and DAP will roll the bookshelves in and the party begins. The party ends, they roll the shelves out. And now the project has grown big. They rolled the bookstore itself in for year. It was Sept. 10th, a Thursday night in Chelsea which felt like the opening night of the art world and the crowds as I walk slowly towards my death (the party) reminded me as they always do of day of the locusts in which all the characteristics of humans are quickly gone and it seems to chomp on itself the organism of the crowd. Quickly I stepped in to the somewhat cavernous garage-like space of the store. The doors to the street remained wide open throughout the two hours of the party and I greeted Skuta and Rick and err the woman taking the pictures and then friends began to trickle in. They seemed a little scarce at first and I resisted the impulse to ask them if this was okay. The idea had been that people were going to many other parties in Chelsea so this would be one of them for them. I don’t know if it really worked that way. Maybe. A little. Mostly it was like people were coming in from the rain. They would kind of shudder about “out there” cause it was a monstrous crowd that night. It had just gotten cold that day. Fall had truly begun. So everyone commented on the weather too. Do I have anything else to say? Yes, my point. Which was that the space was so big and people came in so slow actually really heating up towards the end so that I was actually able to talk to everyone. I thought is it okay that there’s really a lot of room here for everyone. People seemed relieved by this uncrowded event. And somehow in the 8:15 830-ish range where a little tiny reading moment was supposed to occur there was a nice crowd, a moderate but a good crowd of people I knew and other people I knew had already come and gone apologizing because they couldn’t stay for the reading part and I have received emails to that effect. Every event these days is surrounded by messages of all sorts. I have a note from Maureen explaining that she couldn’t come at all and I will respond accordingly on facebook. Quick can operate in support of slow. So I’m just saying that by the time Jeremy and Chris introduced me and said things I was finally up on that mysterious round stage that I couldn’t imagine earlier and the room felt like some odd seminar of friendship or some cult or a reading but more like being a weatherman of this particular small storm to say that I was so glad you came and then I felt it was over already the whole rest of the tour I just have to do it now, get on the plane and get off, read the book but the party is the part you have with your friends like a christening or a baz mitzvah and it just kind of swelled and was done. Across the room I saw at least one person who didn’t say hello. I thought well that’s odd or maybe not. It happened slow everything and then it was quick. And then it was done.

Comments (9)

  • On September 13, 2009 at 6:42 pm Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

    You hate frogs, don’t you?

    You hate punctuation, don’t you?

    You hate paragraphs, don’t you?

    • On September 14, 2009 at 11:20 am Eileen Myles wrote:

      what do you mean by frogs?

      • On September 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

        Eileen: my mistake…sorry. I was referring to a post from back in June but when I started searching for the title I discovered it was by Annie Finch. She was camping in New York and you were hiking in Colorado at about the same time. I got mixed up.

        I have enjoyed your posts. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ve been voted off the island.

        Good luck.

        • On September 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

          And guess what? Annie Finch has the Lao-tzu quote, too, not you.

          She should never have written that post ‘Eileen and Me (1982)’. Now I’ve got you all mixed up. :-)

  • On September 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

    BTW, Ms. Myles, you have yet to answer my question from way back when: which chapter of the Tao Te Ching do you have pinned as a ‘Talisman’ over your desk?

    Speaking as a Taoist, I’m just curious.

  • On September 13, 2009 at 11:42 pm Terreson wrote:

    Well, by now I figure I am on Harriet’s shortlist of posters to get shunned. But it seems to me that any blogger here understands that she is writing to her peers, to other writers, poets, wordsmiths, and thinkers. From my standpoint, to be less than honest would be intellectually dishonest.

    This is not just bad writing, it is perfectly vacant. Of ideation. Of expression. Of skill. Of that mostest thing every poet should demand of herself, duende.

    I honestly don’t get it. If this is what the current poetry scene calls good writing, and good thinking, I really don’t get it. Seriously. As a reader what am I to take away from the blog when I wake up tomorrow?

    Terreson

    • On September 14, 2009 at 11:23 am Eileen Myles wrote:

      Yeah mainly I think you shouldn’t have to sleep before you think. You could be awake reading. Try it.

  • On September 14, 2009 at 10:08 am Jill wrote:

    Jeez, Terreson, you are such a grouch! Who cares if you don’t like it? Move on. You don’t get it. Nuff said. Eileen’s post is great stuff–a slice of mind from a poet in action, on tour, reading, doing all the things you aren’t. Read and learn.

  • On September 14, 2009 at 10:13 am John Oliver Simon wrote:

    I agree with Jill. Eileen is manifesting her poetry in the world, which is part of the gig, of the vocation. And she reflects, right-sized as she can be, on the event.


Posted in Uncategorized on Saturday, September 12th, 2009 by Eileen Myles.