I'M SORRY EILEEN MYLES
I am not being petty.
I am writing to you in hopes I'll relieve myself of this horrible, embarrassing memory of interacting with you last year. Mostly, I don't care if you read this. If you do, I guess you'll have some back story? But it isn't about you and it wasn't really about you at all to begin with. That's one of the things I'm sorry about. You are a writer.
[You are a writer I like. I think your work is unapologetic, transparent, puzzling, reassuring, and weird. Or at least, what I've read. I didn't read Living Twice. I just bought it so you could sign something. But I did read Chelsea Girls, Not Me, Cool For You, and Inferno.]
None of this you care about. You probably care about the meat and that's why anyone reads this blog so I'll get to it.
When we met in Cambridge, I was dating L who I'm sure you'll remember. Things were a bit haywire there, lots of wind and love and screaming in the relationship and I felt like that day our tension was buzzing. The thing is, Jackie told L you were coming and suggested she bring me because you are known for liking hot young poetesses and I'd expressed affection for your strong jaw and speaking voice in the past.
I think Jackie thought it was funny. But L was intrigued. Could she trust me to respect the boundaries of our relationship in the midst of one of my literary crushes?
Anyways, meeting you and walking around the city and writing poems with all those people was inspiring but you weren't really a person to me. You haven't been a person to me ever. You're just Eileen Myles. I'm not saying that to be mean. We just don't actually know each other. Which is why what I did later was so weird.
So at dinner, I flirted my own socks off talking to you about astrology and relationships and television. But it was just a kind of showboating for me. I wanted L to think I was charming and witty because I could get the attention of someone like you. That part was drama too. I always say I'm not dramatic but what do I know?--obviously.
When L and I left the dinner we had a fight down Kirkland and it was also dramatic and you became like this huge balloon float in our relationship--a parade that would not end. Every time one of us wanted to laugh about how crazy things had become between us, we'd bring up the Eileen Myles incident. It became such a life raft we told the story at parties. Also we liked mentioning we'd met you. The poetry community is a weird subversive space where name-dropping is frowned upon but also nepotism is king. Whatever.
The point is, when fate brought us together once more in Ann Arbor and I asked you to blurb my book and I sent you oysters on the half-shell while you were casually at dinner with some class of MFAs, I was just doing it for the story. I used you. I also thought maybe if you remembered how cute I was, it wouldn't matter that we didn't know each other that well, you know? Like you'd suddenly have heart eyes, think my work is amazing and voila. Anyways, it's okay of course that you said no. Our work is vastly different.. I should have thought more about that and what you'd even put your name on. Names are private and public and complicated. I get it. You saying no and my remembrance of all the weirdness in our interactions are what embarrass me but just putting it out there means it can't give me indigestion anymore.
I didn't mean to suck you into a vortex but I also know you didn't get sucked into anything. I'm not even a person to you, just a girl you met a few times who you wouldn't recognize now. I sucked myself into a vortex of like how do I impress this person--that person being L--and how do I get to my own goals of fame and why won't a fellow queer just help my entitled ass? Trying to be less childish and this is the place where I don't fake it. So hey Eileen, if you're listening. I'm sorry I asked you to do something pretty personal when we only had rapport that I made up in my head. And I'm sorry I made you part of my relationship mythology. And thanks for doing you and writing and popping up where I least expect you.
A friend who's moving just gave me Skies and I'm enjoying it.