Eileen Myles - Dear Andrea (3'03"; recorded 10 February 2007 at the Bowery Poetry Club as part of the Queering Language group reading). On his way to some remarks about Lorca, Jonathan Mayhew writes:

We think of a colloquial, direct style as easy to achieve, but if that were true then anybody could write as well as Eileen Myles. But this is obviously not the case. Not even Eileen Myles can write like this—all the time and at will. The directness of WCW and some modernist prose writers too is an achievement. It isn't even that easy to imitate.

Which sent me to PennSound to find a test case. And he's right, even when transcribing her girlfriend's conversations with an ex-girlfriend, Myles sometimes does and sometimes doesn't manage that colloquial effect, that artful appearance of artlessness, of which he speaks—and when she doesn't, when she sounds like she's reading a poem, it's usually because a pitch lands somewhere it just wouldn't in fast informal speech.

Another discovery this morning: Maureen Granville-Smith, Frank O'Hara's sister and literary executor, has made some audio that used to be hard to get at available on-line. The poem Myles's poem reminded me of is "Metaphysical Poem," captured on tape in the September 1964 reading O'Hara gave in Buffalo.

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Monday -- 04 June 2007 -- permalink

The Lipstick of Noise is a product of the Third Factory • Inspired by the music blogs • And by Paul Blackburn's reel-to-reel deck. Intending to make good use of PENNSound and other sources of digital audio files of poetry • Comments welcomeXML.