Public Message (5) Everything

Eileen Myles
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Myles Beeld Avis De La Population Iz Phil Bg Dtjqoumji Unsplash

‘Social distancing’ is what Corona experts advise, but ‘social nearness’ is what we aim for with our literary events. Passa Porta wants to keep connecting authors with their readers. Over the coming weeks, we will therefore be asking writers, from home and beyond, for a personal “Public Message”.

Below you can read an unpublished poem that was sent to us by the American poet Eileen Myles, who was supposed to spend some time in Brussels this spring as a Passa Porta resident. Unfortunately, due to Covid19 their residency had to be postponed. To somewhat soothe the pain, they sent us a poem that reminisces a very different time and place: New York City before lockdown.



The pizza shop had a bottle labeled
everything so delightedly
I shook it on my pizza
and jumped into
a cab. I’m old school New Yorker
I told Adam
I like the inexactness
of cabs, the cash
the entire ana
log experience
of them. The details
of the Joe & Charlie
visit is fading, I told
him about lunch
with Gail (but

not everything) the quote
she gave me I used
in our conversation in chairs
in front of people
was perfect is this? Here it is
la chance dans la malchance
and by now sirens
is that the exact act of goodness
in life is often situated in the
bad the wrong the pizza
no longer warm by the time
I get home but Adam
I have to get off so now
I can eat it and I remember
the cold coffee in the refriger
ator that’s where
the travelling mug
is I open the door
and then I close it
to sleep you have
to stop that stuff
some time and my toe throbs
from dropping the kryptonite
lock on it and I am not
going to Europe yes I am
I am going to London
next week so quaint and
dark not like us
and that is where
the good chance
is in the bad forcing the
thought to camp
and finish the slice
like Frank or
Charles bu

Eileen Myles