The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2010

All Issues
FEB 2010 Issue

The Perfect Faceless Fish

It is a miracle
that I should speak
to delight you.
I feel like a flag
more or less
but music is my breeze
I have many friends
rest assured.
You have given me
my water
and for this I must
thank you. You have
been described
as elegant in your time
and it is long
the road to go
I am honored to accompany
you. A picture
is simply what I am
and old crease
a perfect book
you will miss me
in your sterile anticipation
of something to hang
this picture on. I come
& go. An edible saint.
But if you feast
on me you will be hungry.
I know your intelligence
carnal somehow
and I began to speak
when you began to want
me. Please don’t interrupt
I cross my legs
I flood the darkened
rooms of art
for a while.

And frankly that moment
is gone.
We could only talk through
our eyes and now
that is gone. But this
is deeper than
the marrow
we don’t need rods cones
those sanskrit piles of things
I am seeing through a stain
right now
in your love
I am swimming for years.
In a sudden absence
of trouble in a deftly
handled conversation
I, a luminous fish
felt in this spectacle of impossibility
a fragrant graze upon the
an intermittent twitch,

whisper. If I had hands
I would touch everyone
I vanish in the green
of the background
that goes on and on
made by those who recognize
it that way
there is always something better
to do
I live in a terminal
and so do you
listen we are trying to end everything
by this enormous silence
but it was the old thing
so it shall be very loud
very loutish in the squabbles we
have about right & wrong
& where the flagpole is and
do we ever
will we ever have enough
space to play the game
I am deeply knowing you
and feel you have chosen
me for this conversation
before it’s cooked
before anything is prepared
anything at all
the lesser details never mind
the first exquisite choice
that brought me into being
this conversation
a fishy birth
I’ve had you in my pocket
it’s all that I know
but a knowing that is useless
without this acknowledgement
in a many chambered room
is that what you said
enormous darkly I accept it
I flow around and fold
into everything your comic
desultory contempt
which I’m beginning to see
functions as glue
for you
the prettiness for me is
the opening city
and moving through it with you
the young old fold
around your mouth
trust that
I am gold in the reconciliation
gold in the anticipation
paradise great ambiance
what’s available
is not of any use to
what is me today
a stoic longing symbol of
studying peace
in outlandish quarters
your long room in the night
your whole long body
which is faceless too
to acquire your trust is of
utmost importance to me
I am foolish I talking fish
the time is here for me
to make promises to
you that is sometimes standing
in a bakery
laughing becomes a professional
wife with empty folders
and I see the muscle
embedded the one
that can’t be removed
in the beloved text that is
a torso sized drink to me
each time I break the surface
turn around
bubbles cascading from
the incommensurate
path of my tale, tentacle
you make me enough
so I hold a cup
gasping with laughter
in the teeshirts covered with
arcane scribbles
carry the message
awkward grins and phones to
their ears
yours are wired to everything
there is
you’re an impossible telephone
I lift my head for the
last sip of your
a lamb leaps over the fins
the arms I would
have we would hold
each other in
I am waiting. No difficulty
with gold. As I told
your mother I have
obtained access
to an uncontrolled intimacy
fear not
certainly I did not phrase it
that like
but I met her in
the most advanced
communication terrain
and exchanged
messages concerning our
difficulties with god
and man
I am beginning to know
I am gold a transforming
the clipped end of an
utterance I was saving
for you when I saw your

swinging light
the door approach
and everything moves


Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles is a poet with 22 books and is a member of @1000people1000 trees and East River Park Action all opposing the ESCR plan.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2010

All Issues