A Poem in Two Homes by Eileen Myles

BOMB 21 Fall 1987
021 Fall 1987

A Poem in Two Homes

Everywhere I go
is home

when I’m dreaming.
Creamy traffic

pouring past
the Noho Star

“I thought you were
coming to my

l am.

At my back:
all of Bleecker St.
the confusing

part of New
York life

three generations
back. Today:

fruit stand, bad
bars: Stormin’

Norman & Susie,
old cafes, Village

Oldees, depression
now, the Bleecker

interesting “film”

Become a member
of the Bleecker
St. Cinema

your first year
in town. It’s

doubtful I will
move to Atlanta

for business. To
Texas to teach.

Remember Soho. This
is Soho. There’s
just these two
bars and then

the OG where
conceptual artists
sat all day

you can hardly
hear it, my
poetry. It’s

in danger of
vanishing if
I don’t write

it down. Does
it change like

the neighbor-
hoods, yes,
if you don’t

buy it in a flash
well who knows

what’ll happen
to you? You’ll
wind up in the

lower east side,
one day all cobble-
stoned with

trolley tracks &
dairy restaurants
like some old

world. There was
a giant line out-
side that old

church on New
Year’s day. You

couldn’t get in
so you went &

had coffee
with the

guy who depressed
you, Noel Sack.

Eileen, why don’t
you work he

Noel, I sd
waving my hands.
I bought his

old speakers
& my check

That was the
last straw.
He was so

pissed. I
guess he’s

in California
or someplace.

We went to that
history of the Avant
Garde Cinema

at the Modern Art.
I didn’t want
to be

with him at
all. His teacher
Duncan McNaughton

writes me about
the “real thing”

poetry that’s not
what, language,
ethnic, lesbian

black, you
know like Charles

I packed all
of my clothes
from your

home into a
Macy’s shopping

bag. Oh gimme
that jacket, I
wanted to

wear that. And
walking up twelfth
brrr it’s

really cold. Gimme
that white tur-

tle neck.

I did not forget
the yellow legal
paper folded

with the stripes
going up. I
forgot the tan

notebook full
of numbers
I’ve got

to call. I’m
walking home

with a Macy’s
bag and one sweater
& a head band

in it. Her soul
is not a great
soul. She dwells

on domestic things:
her love. Her walk
in the cold &

even keeping to the
tiniest rule makes
me full.

My home becomes
a prayer mount
when I get

there—full of
light & dust &
the answering

machine blinking.
Hello Eileen, I am
Joel Lewis. I

am the world’s
greatest poet.

I do not seem
to be obedient
to the world

today. Since
television, there
has been

me. It has
been a tall
order to carry

out, the whole
case for enter-
taining literacy

on my back.
I was listening

to a tape of
Patti Smith yes-
terday in

my home. It was
before she had
a band & everything

in her voice
was waiting
for it.

And, even better,
oh dear god,

gynous creep
in the sky
Danny heard

Hitler. & he
says Hitler
sd bumble

bumble, not much
blurrr facts,
bull shit

& then he exploded
you didn’t
know when

& that was
what moved

the crowd. The
freedom of

in the air.

Hitler, Hitler,
Hitler pop

I want to
be Will

that’s what
I want to
be. And,

that folks
(twirl twirl)
is the

end of the
world. As
we know.

I think I will
be the anti-
christ. Rather

than simple
Eileen Myles.

Poor she. The
is me. I

died at the
age of 33
yet I

walk the
streets of
the east

village joyful,
and remorseless

like a cruel
& perfect

poem, my
butt, unsold.

I act vague

about my

No, it is
than all

I know. The
softness, the

disposition. To-
day I used
half a jar

of Dippity
Do & I
got it right.

I will put
my plastic

head on
your shoulder
& weep.

For you, but
not for
me. My

compassion is
boundless &


My mission is
not so predictable
as reverse

of the first.

I take some
of this
& some of
that, I

unlike Christ.

I’m not a
girl, nor
a boy. I

won’t bear

nor knock
you up. I
do not

come w/instructions
even to myself.
All my notions
are felt

I think, as the
strikes the

fatty part
of the

arm of

the boy martyr
I am unwounded

wet from the
well. I am
clear-eyed &

burning with

like Christ,
but different.

Zounds. I
love that word.
Zounds. It

resembles arrows.

Each panel

represents a dif-
ferent industry
or else each
panel represents
a different re-
ligion, or masonic
lodge, or else
each panel re-
presents an age,
like the awful
age of pisces
which we’re leaving
behind us as
we’re chugging
on towards
the great
new mysterious
age of Aquarius.

Everything you
can think of
that seems
to be
like that.

A sphinx would
make you

happy because
at least
a sphinx
is a fact.

We’re coming
from there,
the desert &
we’re going
right back
in. Now

more than
any other
time in
history, you
really ought
to please
in mysterious
winds a
cave inside
your soul
might be
the only
to go.

So why house
a skunk?

Once my whole
apartment is
grey I can
think this
all out.

But I’m
ever home. Hi,
I barge in,
all smiles,
the answer
machine is

blinking away
& my hands
all full of
direct mail
envelopes, Salvation

Army, gay direct
mail, poor Bowery
guys, culture.

Everybody wants
money. And
I just came
home from
a hard
day of looking
for money
for my
that of
the poet.

In your
I sing
your song.

At the end
of the
l am
my poem.

Eileen Myles’ collection of stories; Bread and Water is available through Hanuman Press. In the Spring her collection of poems, The Real Drive will appear in a series of Semiotexte. She is currently performing her play Feeling Blue, Part I, II, and III around town.

Two Poems by Todd Grimson
“To Lie Is to Try”: Two Books on Kathy Acker by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Kathy Acker By Rick Mcginnis

Chris Kraus and Douglas A. Martin conjure the iconoclastic author.

Becca Blackwell by Jim Fletcher
Becca Blackwell Bomb 01

The actors chat about performing masculinity, transitioning, and Blackwell’s one-person show They, Themself and Schmerm.

Eileen Myles: My Need To Say by CAConrad
Em Body

Poets CA Conrad and Eileen Myles discuss the past, Myles’s novel Inferno, and Modern Maturity.

Originally published in

BOMB 21, Fall 1987

James Rosenquist, Julian Barnes by Patrick McGrath, Diane Kurys, Richard Greenberg, and Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe.

Read the issue
021 Fall 1987