Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Eileen Myles


Everything's equal now. Blue leash blue bike
blue socks covering my ankles today
what about my friend -- I never wear socks
for a week or two she lived in the streets &
it was such an illumination. What's this human
addiction to light. One morning I dreamt about
homelessness, joked about it. Life reduced
or expanded to getting doggie her very
next can. Dog's inexcusable addiction to
eating. At the bottom of the sea, David said,
the fishies are inexcusably addicted to light.
Same day I and my dog were left on the street.
No home, no keys, streams of pouring grey
rain. Now what is this grey, in relationship
to blue. Ask some painter is it less light
or is it what. What kind of hat should
I have worn yesterday in my crisis.
The dog's blue leash was gone. My feet reaching
over the bounds of the sidewalks, its curbs
and waves, pavement splashing up
hard and grey. Where did I see that man?
Someplace so human they even had one of them.
In a dark blue teeshirt, laughing. There is nothing
to my anecdote, my predicament, my color
crisis. There is nothing but blue & grey.
A glint hits the golden key, and it's a bad one
not the original and I kept turning and turning
there were copies everywhere in the neighborhood
that's what I am trying to say. I simply walked
and the apologies kept coming streaming in
and I said I simply walked and the tree
turned, no the key and the bottom of the sea
is flooded with light, we just get used to it
the deeper and deeper we go and the harder
it is to turn the key and eventually we
go and it is very very dark
we just get used to the light
but the blues and the greys and the feelings
of lostness, it's like home, it's like family.

© 1996