Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Choke

Of all the ways of forgetting
not turning the pilot on is not
                             the worst

The house is intact
you are floating
in time
buckets of it streaming through
                  the windows

youth turned it up I think
or on & fell asleep

Remembering to do.
You are too intact
the dappled sunlight on the lawn
or pots of darkness
like salt instead of depths

Still once I turned it up
the popping commenced
like applause for the present
tense
the site of my sway

Larry's new car is wide & safe
a woman's voice conducts
us left & right
she's crazy he laughs
again & again

my shrink said buy it now
about the car

I told him about my phenomenal streak
of winning & when the stakes 
rose I began to bid low & 
not at all
I could have won; you choked
he said.

Woof. To not choke
is I suppose to experience
to hold it in & go forth
though you need the heat

The sun had not done more
suddenly for a while

it's like we took off our skin
and said it is hot.
It's like we sold our skin
& said where did everyone go?

when the weather's too hot for comfort
& we can't have ice-cream cones
it ain't no sin
to take off your skin
& dance around in your bones

Credit


From Snowflake / different streets by Eileen Myles. Copyright © 2012 by Eileen Myles. Reprinted with permission of Wave Books. All rights reserved.

Author


Eileen Myles

Dennis Cooper describes Myles as "one of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature." Holland Cotter names Myles as "a cult figure to a generation of post-punk female writer-performers."

Date Published: 2012-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/choke