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Before They Were Stars…Annie Finch and Eileen Myles

May 20, 2009
photo courtesy of annie finch (via harriet)

photo courtesy of annie finch (via harriet)

looking back on one’s beginnings can be inadvertently hilarious.  for us, at least.

in complimentary posts on harriet,  annie finch and eileen myles tell their own versions of the first time they met and how they came to love and respect one another.   and also that time they probably got stoned:

I’m living in the East Village, on a deserted-looking block of Avenue A a couple blocks north of Tompkins Square Park, trying to figure out how I can ever find my place in the poetry world.  I’m writing a shamanic long poem in rhythmic free verse, The Encyclopedia of Scotland, and working for minimum wage. ..I can’t remember at all now how the gig Eileen mentions in her Harriet post came about; maybe my friend Alix Baer arranged it and then couldn’t come, and I asked Eileen to substitute….I’m guessing we were high, and from my perspective it was all very Ginsberg-inspired, and there was definitely a tiger involved.


i mean, who among us ISN’T a young poet living on minimum wage in a large metropolitan area, working on a long free verse shamanic poem, trying to make it happen while getting stoned with our contemporaries?  preach, sister, preach!

apparently it’s “when i was a young poet in new york” season over at harriet.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2009 3:35 pm

    Why: “preach, sister, preach!”

    I mean there are people on trust funds, people who prefer the suburbs or college campuses, and there is “then” before “now.” I don’t assume anything about how all poets’ lives evolved and occurred. Is there like an eternal present in the mind of “famous poet” who sneered at me & Annie’s fellow feeling. Also in context there was a massive jerk off session going on between some male poets on Harriet’s tail. AKA: the thread. It kind of felt good to go and tap Annie and say remember when I met you. It’s like what you do at a party. The boys in the basement were having a party. Why not the females on the main floor. Maybe it’s women talking that bugs famous poet. When someone goes “Sister,” it usually means he’s male. It’s like when a guy gets ired and he goes “Ms.” or Miss. The suggestion is the female is getting uppity.

    So.. let’s see: Hey Sissy Boy. Sowwy we scared you.In your incredible long metropolitan low wage night. Or is it graduate school that’s occupies you.

    • famouspoet permalink
      May 21, 2009 4:00 pm

      i am a lady, eileen. eileen is my middle name.

      • Eileen Myles permalink
        May 21, 2009 9:56 pm

        I am not a lady. Eileen is my first name. It’s okay. No big deal, Famous.

  2. May 21, 2009 4:42 pm

    well, I was kind of touched; I’ll preach! Eileen, do you think anyone will think it was you in the bear mask?!

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