Eileen Myles is educating Harriet right up to her last post! [CLICK HERE]

Yesterday we showed you how she blogged just how tiring blogging really is, a genius idea — and sure enough, the dutiful Harriet community took her literally and criticized her for doing exactly what she was trying to do, and doing so brilliantly. Today she’s on a bit further even than that, criticizing our eating habits, and sure enough, the posters are all taking it as a personal disorder not worth thinking about instead, of course, of sex. Oh dear.

A mole passed on to us this annotated typescript that was smuggled out of the Chicago office. It certainly helps to understand how the minds of the staff as opposed to the posters at Harriet work, and why Eileen’s pearls are such bitter pills to the swine! (Chaque à son gout, as the French say — i.e. if you shack up with a pig you get gout.)



  1. cowpattyhammer said,

    October 6, 2009 at 5:20 am

    You know, sometimes I feel guilty about what we’re doing on Scarriet, exposing to so much ridicule the pretensions of Harriet. But the example of Eileen Myles reassures me, because she exposes the pretensions of Harriet, and indeed of the whole poetry establishment in America (think Robert Pinsky!), even more ruthlessly than we do — yet she’s accepted, almost as if she were Byron!!! Think about it: Eileen Myles presents the whole poets and writers picture, warts and all, unabridged, uncensored. I mean she hangs it right up there on her gibbet, disgraced, puny and naked. And what a terrible form of humiliation and torture that was too, the gibbet! Can you imagine a gibbet on Broadway with Robert Pinsky in it, or Travis Nichols?

    I just wrote Tom about something I thought I might say but didn’t quite dare. He wrote me back:

    As far as ‘crossing lines,’ use your gut, Christopher. Trust your good taste. Vulgarity is now the rule, so I’m sure you’ll err on the side of good taste most of the time. Let’s throw caution to the wind, I say. Write what you really feel and really want to say.

    “You talk in riddles sometimes, I think, because you’re uneasy, you don’t want to offend, etc. My guess is that this fear and caution of yours is inhibiting; say what you feel in your heart. You’re a good teacher: your style is to lay out a number of issues for your readers and let them decide. What I do is take one issue and tell everyone my opinion on it. My method works better in snap-crackle-pop journalism and finally, in a kind of Byronic, aphoristic manner, too. My model is Byron, actually, when I think about it.

    “Reading up on Amber this weekend, I found that her boyfriend Cross—with her and her dad’s permission—put a photo of her dad on the blurb of his book, rather than his picture, and wrote in the blurb that he (Cross) was “currently f*cking Amber Tamblyn.” This is “humor” today, Christopher. So, I wouldn’t worry about what you say, too much.”

    Thanks, Tom — but still ouch!

    Here’s something for all of you to think about. America doesn’t seem to have the same sort of relationship with satire that Britain has — Private Eye, for example, stripped politicians and celebrities naked all the time, and people laughed their heads off. Sasha Baron Cohen, despite his exotic looks and name, is quintessentially British, and an enormous force for the good too, I would say. But could we go that far in America? Would an American ‘Ali G indahouse’ be tolerated?

    So I want to know, why in America are even poets afraid to look at themselves in the mirror? I wrote 4 separate posts for Harriet just suggesting that Baron Sasha Cohen might interview American poetry people, and all 4 posts got deleted. I didn’t do the interviews, I just suggested they might work.

    And boy would they ever!


  2. cowpattyhammer said,

    October 6, 2009 at 5:52 am

    When I talk about deletions, I’m sure you must all assume I’m being disingenuous, that surely Travis Nichols wouldn’t be so stupid as to delete inoffensive material. Well, here’s the first Sasha Baron Cohen post I put up, and if you click on the date it will take you to the thread it was intended for (it’s Comment #21370) but you’ll see it isn’t there. It was put on “awaiting moderation,” and sat there for almost 2 weeks, invisible, and then was deleted. Can you imagine? Can you get your minds around that???

    (Your comment is awaiting moderation.)

    Be warned, all Harriets and others involved in the PoBiz. Sasha Baron Cohen is already at work on his new film in progress called Ali G indapoetryhouse. Thomas Brady, Christopher Woodman, Desmond Swords, Terreson and Noah Freed are already hot on the road. ‘Borat’ and ‘Bruno’ will seem child’s play compared to this one, and you’re already all in it!

    Don’t say nobody warned you, or that this thread won’t make poetry famous!!!


  3. poetryandporse said,

    October 6, 2009 at 7:35 am

    There were plenty of your posts inexplicably held back and expunged by the censor, Woodman.

    You were ‘took out’ first, I remember: put on moderation, not because you transgressed any talk policies, but because you didn’t.

    As Graves points out; in a post-modern way of meanings reversed, being ‘funny’ also connotes a total absence of funniness, no genuine humor for the happy, care-free audience wanting only wow and pizazz at the mean core swirl of what psychic shit ‘n roses, flight or bomb, storm or rush on to a stage only to discover, there is no audience: apart from other analytical, heck-fire self-cure junkies doing funny shit.

    $hit art? – is the 7.42 youtube link, to a legendary scatological ‘performance’ of ‘shit’ Art, which happened at the Spoon Full of Poison Open Mic Night, Old Street, London; captured and broadcast by Future London Underground: FLUcast production – of some ‘funny’ poetic poison. Shit.

    I must warn you, the video is XXX, and does not make for repeat viewing. It is, basically, a man and woman defecating on stage, and – as an intellectual statement – is a piece of brilliance whose aptness, only now after many months, makes some kinda crazy sense. For the poetic magnitude of this ‘funny shit’ to sink in properly.

    Not my cup of tea, i’m afraid, but for people who are looking for the perfect educational instruction vid on how to find a fucked-up fame, as the ‘funny shit’ shtick: pure funny ‘shit’ poetry: this is the kinda vid to study, as your lesson plan. If you want to bomb.

    Two people, one microphone, a man and woman. Their ‘poem’, begins when the two ‘artists’, come up front, and the male takes possession of the mic. his colleague goes straight stage-left of him, and both begin removing their clothes.

    As they do so, the man’s enacting – what I suspect is – extemporized, repetitive roaring of the word ‘fuck’, and later; after he’s removed his clothes, the word ‘shit’ – defecated into his hand, which he then tosses into the audience.

    It’s very powerful ‘shit’ Art, and only slowly does it dawn on the viewer, after 1.50, that these two are several sandwiches short of getting a lunchbox on a plane. Pure Dada-as-fucked-up art shit.

    And one question settles, after the dada magnitude of the ‘poem’ begins to sink into us.



    Eileen has fizzed up the chat, there is gas and exchange. Terreson pulled off a questioning toss, and Fitz is making it real. A bit of life, and the usual two tier intellectual shtick of bores with brains and hearts and intelligence to communicate themselves.

    And fair play, because it needs the dollar thrills of people connecting and setting out their poetic cosmologies and sailing into one another’s sourcing systems, search of civilized chat with colleagues whose shit aint real.

    If there are any reading who are in need of no ‘shit’: Scarriet’s the place for recovering foets looking to dump a faux habit, be the real ears here, composing your spheres within, outing ’em into the selves from faery dollar moat.

    Let the FdM spill in and make it known A: just what kinda carry ons going in the dumping ground; Harriet Le Roi aw person rules, triple dollar bills, the occidental orientation, a need to move on, that place from whence rubbish, the old mojo trill some good lies, pull off the right pose, sat alone in Kilmainham, the main ham dead-head to moi gnaw: at the no bells tinkler vartis

    Best wishes


    [The basic ogham Letter system of juggling each sound.]

  4. thomasbrady said,

    October 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    To the Tune of ‘Fixing A Hole’

    Travis, A Hole

    I’m fixing a blog,
    Where the rain gets in,
    And Desmond Swords goes wandering
    Where he will go.

    I’m filling the cracks that ran through the door,
    To keep Woodman from wandering,
    And they will go.

    And it really doesn’t matter if I’m wrong, I’m right,
    I delete, in day or night, and I belong.
    See the people blogging here who disagree and never win
    And wonder why they don’t get in my door

    I’m killing the room in a very dull way
    And when my mind is festering,
    There I will go

    And it really doesn’t matter if I’m wrong, I’m right!
    Where I belong I’m right, where I belong.
    Thomas Brady runs around, can’t worry me,
    And never ask me why you don’t get past my door

    I’m taking the time for a number of things,
    And nothing’s important yesterday.
    And I still go

    I’m fixing a blog where the rain gets in,
    And Desmond Swords goes wandering
    Where he will go, where he will go;

    I’m fixing a blog where the rain gets in.
    I stop them all from wandering
    Where they will go.

    I’m censoring some
    In a real quiet way,
    And when Desmond Swords goes wandering–
    No, he won’t go.
    No, he won’t go.
    No, no, no, he won’t go,
    He won’t go.

  5. poetryandporse said,

    October 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve just read Myles’ Yoga II post, and have to say, I like her honest accounting of po-biz, as she experienced it in her younger times: the New Narrative revolution in Frisco and Myles only wanting to write about queer, sex and being a lesbian, in the hey day of it all, hung out swinging and ‘the poetry scene wanting to be engaged with excess and sex and narrative particularly as AIDS reared its head, and the sex-sex- sexual hetro-retronyms, retrospective renderings realised in the wandering back to what it all meant; then when the New Narrative in writing began: Eileen the outsider, ‘how blurry it was at the time. Publishing in the same magazines for a while, a language poet might try and have sex with you and try and make you a language poet girl’.

    She makes valid points. Not for her tepid intellectualizing lame theories of language, langpo po-biz was much, much younger then, when ‘I was queer and really wanted to write about it’, but the squarer hetro-centrics hitting on her and each other in a youthful heady time Silliman captures in his book Albany – left little evidence of the sexual hedonism in their writings of the spirit Myles experienced in her eclectically mixed career: now standing resistant as ‘Aids..the Vietnam of my generation’, went unrecorded in the annals of language poetry, custoded now by the middle-aged academic peer review foetry poets. ‘A war needs its poets and we were absolutely there. John Ashbery did it in his John Ashbery way.’

    But not for her the theocracy of it all: the Bernstein bubble, bible, biddable not from within, because Eileen must stand in resistance to thinking of Language writing as (being) what happened in poetry in the seventies and eighties. Not her Scene.

    She makes valid points, about a proliferation of porno in the contemporary electronic clime, two clicks from hard-core anything we can dream of, visual conditioner, furnishing what would have been previously unimaginable..for a boy of 13 or 17. Or a girl.

    The death of feminism, no porn for girls. It’s aimed at a male audience and the come-shot is aimed at her face, homogenised face-shot coming your way down superhighway routes to everything that is knowable, everything that is banal, the light and dark in Myles questioning, bewail the loss, ‘less access to interiority, less ability to imagine their own bodies and what they might want than ever before. She is expected to get in position. The media purports what she is and was. I love Cathy Wagoner’s new book.

    ‘I’ Mileen, Eyles, me ahead of the rest, not dressing up truth, come define the powerful ID, no ego, only a Sapphic muse: we can be poets too without selling out to the man, y’all.


    photograph today oh girl

    I saw tepid minds from three generations
    crash and burn, the avant-garde of ice-cream, scream, ‘I’ scene, come on eileen

    Toora Loora Toora Loo-Rye-Aye

    Feminist pastor, preacher, prophetic vicar


    peace be unto y’all

  6. cowpattyhammer said,

    October 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks, Desmond — like Eileen, a treasure!

    (In Thailand the word for “icecream” is “I team!”)

    Brother — mon semblable, mon frère!


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