Monday, January 11, 2016

Poetry Monday: Eileen Myles' School of Fish

I’ve been participating in an Eileen Myles poetry discussion group (kind of an offshoot from the marvellous ModPo course which I, um, might have mentioned a few times) in which we read and discuss one poem every few days (sometimes every day).  I’ve enjoyed every poem we’ve discussed, and if you haven’t heard of Eileen Myles, who has suddenly become something of a poetic superstar, I have to recommend her to you.  So far my favourite is the title poem from Myles’ School of Fish (Black Sparrow Books, 1997), a poem which was recently featured in the series Transparent, in which Cherry Jones plays a character loosely based on Myles. There’s something so liquid and rich about this poem - the way it explores homelessness in such a personal and even subtle way, while also going deep into notions of the self and belonging (without leaving out her dog).  Here’s the last part of it:

the deeper and deeper we go and the harder
it is to turn the key and eventually we
go and it is very very dark
we just get used to the light
but the blues and the greys and the feelings
of lostness, it's like home, it's like family.

The entire poem can be found here:
or you can listen to Myles’ own rather intimate reading here:

(and yes I know it’s Tuesday, but it might still be Monday where you are...or when you get here)

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