Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 64.3 (Eileen Myles)

Myles, Eileen
The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art


Sent to me by the publisher in anticipation of Eileen reading in Buffalo in the Fall of 2009.

She was the second or third reader in the Big Night series when we began it a couple of years back. She stayed at our place and read on a Saturday night.

Her reading was accompanied by a dramatic performance of her libretto, "Hell," by the Buffalo Poets Theater. I think we had music, too, but I can't remember off the top of my head who provided it.

Aaron Lowinger and I collaborated on an introduction focused on the theme of Iceland. I published my half of the collaboration in Kadar Koli as a poem called, "The Importance of Being Icelandic."

I thought this was going to be the final product of the M's, but it turns out I mis-filed "Robert Musil" after "Eileen Myles." I guess if it were written in Greek, "Musil" would be "Mysil," and thus properly shelved.

Alas.

from The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art

Iceland is, as you know, a country. The first thing everyone knows or doesn’t know about Iceland is that it’s not Greenland. Greenland is colder than Iceland though it seems like their names,are reversed. If you look at Iceland’s name in Icelandic it looks like Island and for the purposes of this book the unresearched fact is enough. Iceland is an island and I suspect its name comes from the word island not the word ice. The other thing you’ll hear from anyone about Iceland is they stopped there on their way to Europe cause the tickets were cheap. Iceland is ideally situated between Europe and North America. It’s kind of a pit stop place, a gas station so to speak and so it’s been strategic during times of war. The US had a base there for a long time. In a moment of desperation the Prime Minister tried to sell it to Russia. Ugh.

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