on reading ‘Peanut Butter’ by Eileen Myles

I was in the salon before our trip, waiting to have my hair done–it’s a little different than last time. Similar. But not exactly the same because I never get exactly the same haircut. I don’t know if you’d be able to tell the difference if I hadn’t told you. It doesn’t matter.

I was reading poetry on my phone. As I do when I’m somewhere with no wifi, waiting.

It’s good to be places without wifi. And to wait sometimes for something you want.

I was reading ‘Peanut Butter‘ by Eileen Myles. I never heard of her, but that doesn’t mean anything. There are lots of people I never heard of that are worth knowing. And some people I know that aren’t. But anyway. I like her. We are sympathetic animals.

She begins,

I am always hungry
& wanting to have
sex.

Then she talks about peanut butter. I, too, like sex and peanut butter.

Not together.

I, too, know the way hunger makes you aware of your body. Everything is more intense when you’re hungry. The physical becomes acute. There are times I live for weeks in the edge state of hunger. If you cannot, or will not, feed one primal urge, satiate another.

We are not meant to be fat and bloated animals, drugged on food. Lazy, castrated housecats. Do you remember what it’s like to need?

We are meant to be lean and always moving. We are meant to be hungry.

She says:

Pleasure
as a means,
and then a
means again
with no ends
in sight.

Pleasure being an end unto itself. I have a joke for you. It begins, an ascetic and a hedonist walk into a bar…

I don’t know how it ends.

I do wonder how they got to be friends.

This part reminds me of you:

When the water
boils I get
a cup of tea.
Accidentally I
read all the
works of Proust.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read Proust, but I can imagine you having that kind of accident. This is a love poem, but the love parts don’t make me think of you.

Eileen Myles and I are sympathetic in love, also.

She says:

why shouldn’t
something
I have always
known be the
very best there
is.

It’s important to know what hunger feels like. If you don’t know the ache of it, you don’t know when it’s soothed.

I’ve known people with a black hole where their stomach ought to be. They’re so out of touch with their own hunger, they don’t know when to stop eating. They can’t ever feel full because they don’t understand the nature of the hunger.