Eileen Myles

Artifact: Excerpt of Dear Andrea by Eileen Myles:

Dear Andrea
I’ve been alone all day
Spare me the postmodern experimental poet bullshit
Honey, think hard
about moments of love you’ve experienced with me
I want that love
Are we in a relationship or not?
Eileen, are you paying attention?
Fifty dollars, first ticket
Fifty dollars, first catcase
Diesel, diesel

Dear Andrea
You are the candy melting in my mouth
Is that a euphemism?
For what?
Witnessing your love
That’s pretty good

Identification: Eileen Myles is one of the most well-known female LGBT poets in the contemporary poetry world. This poem is an excerpt from her 2007 book “Sorry, Tree.” Much of her poetry centers around her relationship with other women and her confidence in her sexuality (as seen in other parts of this poem, including “don’t f**ck up my hair” and “I can’t believe you almost fisted me”). For Andrea is one of her most infamous works, along with other self-addressed poets to her partners such as To Jordana. She’s come a long way since she debuted on the scene in the 1970s but has kept her language rich and her diction direct throughout her career. The link to the full poem has a wonderful reading by her.

Annotation: This poem is powerful in its many layers, strong language, and tangible dialogue. “Spare me the postmodern experimental poet bullshit” is one of my favorite lines I’ve come across in any contemporary poem. Despite how comfortable she is in her sexuality, there’s also moments of uncertainty, as with any relationship, such as “are we in a relationship?” and “Eileen, are you paying attention?” Myles poems are powerful in how they capture the human experience, especially in a population under-represented in other literary mediums.

One thought on “Eileen Myles

  1. cph136 says:

    Great post! What I find most interesting about Myles is that she was relatively obscure for a long time, but is now super important. Do you have a sense of her career trajectory?

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