An Eileen Myles Appreciation Post

My favorite opening sentence of a book comes from Eileen Myles’ Inferno:

My English professor’s ass was so beautiful.

Well, I thought the first time I read that, I’m in.

There’s an interview with her in the most recent issue of The Paris Review where she talks about her writing, her childhood, her ambitions, and it’s hard to pick one favorite passage but this, about why social media and cell phones are such a part of her recent work, comes close:

I never wanted to be a poet. I wanted to be a spaceman. So this is it. My wildest fantasy of being a poet exists in social media because I feel like you are walking down the street in your connected notebook. It’s sort of like when you realize the poem is no longer a whole, it’s just stabs at trying to notate a vivid, fleeting experience, so maybe a line comes at you — and it’s really hard to figure out what’s poetry and what’s a tweet at this time — but the line comes and you literally can show the thing that you saw, or not. I mean, they can’t be in the sensorium with you, but you make the joke. Here’s the thing I saw and here’s the line that came to me and I’m sending this out to seven thousand people right now and I’m gleeful that I’m not alone in this particular way.

Today is the release of her new collection of poetry, I Must Be Living Twice, as well as the re-issue of her 1994 novel Chelsea Girls. Lucky people in the New York area can see her in conversation with Choire tonight at McNally Jackson; everyone else can read or re-read their preferred Eileen Myles, pick their favorite sentence, and leave them in the comments.