So Much for That Hotness

Eileen Myles - Dear Andrea (3'03"; recorded 10 February 2007 at the Bowery Poetry Club as part of the Queering Language group reading). The beloved chatters away, sometimes to her ex-lover, Andrea, a rival to the poet, Eileen, who listens and transcribes. This goes on for some time. Flash forward: the poet, Eileen, reads her sequence of poems, now titled "Dear Andrea," to an animated, interactive audience in New York. The beloved has become "a certain girlfriend of mine" (placing Eileen in the "ex-" slot). Words first lingered over in loving detail take on a different flavor. • The performance is bracketed by applause, a first burst after the exaggerated announcement of the name Eileen Myles, a closing burst following the quietly offered "thanks" by which the poet signals she's through. The performer-audience barrier is weak at this twenty-plus person group reading. Myles, taking the stage about fifty minutes into the event, leads with some teasing remarks to the crowd: "It's so great to be gay, right? It's like über poetry, gay poetry. It's like, a hot little room in poetry, where all the freaks are." A female voice from the crowd can be heard echoing the word "hot," and a second voice, with a tattle-tale lilt, announces "Emily thinks Eileen is hot." The pause is as short as the retort is immodest: "So does everybody." The audience response, registering the arrogance of the claim, drives her to a self-deprecating retraction: "So much for that hotness." The poems are brief, twenty-five to thirty-five seconds or so each. After the third, the poet pauses—between the title and the body of the fourth and last poem—to situate the sequence, its principal characters, her motivation in doing the project. She wraps up with that quiet thanks, neglecting to introduce the reader following herself (a small, perhaps charismatically-sanctioned, violation of the code the group has been asked to follow). • More about Myles at Syntax Is a Second Skin, Weird Deer, and Verse. Not to mention, here.

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Friday -- 08 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.