Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 64 (Eileen Myles)

Myles, Eileen
Maxfield Parrish: Early & New Poems

Autographed copy. Purchased at St. Mark's Books.

I am attempting some two-handed typing this morning. I tried doing it without my cast on, but the elbow started to get sore pretty quickly, so I am trying to write with the cast on. It doesn't hurt as much, but it's a bit more difficult to maneuver. Feels good to be writing.

Anyhow, I bought this book in the summer or fall of 1996. I had signed up for a fall workshop at the New School with the author, having read only a handful of her poems, which had been published in the Norton Anthology of Postmodern Poetry. I wanted to read more, so I went out and bought this one. They just happened to be selling autographed copies.

The fall of 1996 was a really crazy time. I had spent the previous year mired in a post-break-up depression. The fog had just started to clear and I was thinking about going for an MFA. I'd never taken a writing workshop before, so I had no one to write me a recommendation or even to tell me whether or not to bother. I ended up taking two workshops at once -- Eileen's and Elaine Equi's -- in hopes they might encourage me and also write me recommendations.

There were maybe 12 people in Eileen's seminar. It met once a week in the evening for three hours. I remember during the first class Eileen started describing looking out the window at blossoms or buds on a branch shaking in the wind and how once it got moving it started to blur in a way that allowed you to see it was a branch but also to feel its movement and how she thought poetry was in many ways about finding that blur in language. I liked that idea.

Ok, oddly, it is not my elbow, but my shoulder that is getting sore. I'll continue tomorrow and see if I can't get fully up to speed by the end of the week.

Here's a link to a poem from this book at the Poetry Foundation:

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