Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Eileen Myles

THAT RAT\'S DEATH

THAT RAT\'S DEATH

THAT RAT\'S DEATH

I’m proud
that I fed my avocado
to the mice this
week

To see that scattered dust
around the hole

I felt dis-
appointed the apple had
been spared
the throbbing
soup, home

he said it’s a storm
it’s a storm I thought
am I allowed
to ask entire questions
to take this
space alone

you bobbing
you painted in my dog’s
face so care-
fully

some kind of violence
stretches the thought so
long and allows the horns
of   words to touch each
other. I think of   him

taking
this much space.

you don’t know about this
dish towel
for that matter

who was I in another time
giving the tails so much

puzzled that these spices
went someplace else
they did today in a sandwich

the empty hall into which I am
reading
the empty country
an entire country
I wanted all of them

how I would like
just one to pick
things up in
its cities and its rain

its coast
the outer coat

78 rpm
silly
news-
papers
turning
cat on a porch
and other countries
nearby
& home ready for me
when I have
something to say or
show

if ever
my empty mistakes
my empty vase
my empty powers of   horror
my empty sex

o bring the snow

that rat’s death
killed me because i
would see it for days
over and over and
it hardly could be the same
rat whose insides
whisked the street

we don’t think that war
is such an incredible
mess but it was
just yesterday
and in ancient poems
years ago in the past

dying the balloon just
bursts it cannot

bring u back again

the huge cool breath
the lake doesn’t want
you anymore or her
arms her sweet
muff or breast the storm
the past.

but no I won’t leave
my cheese out for them
anymore and I must be
the last person in the world
in new york to read him
who told us about mice

that sing & fill empty auditoriums
like us and our singing hearts
our formula for bringing
it out. Pulling the receptacle
apart watch the tiny ship
floating on it
smithereens

I ducked the tail edging over

taking a little bit more. The price
of wider concepts is not
choosing your drops oh
flicking me off reminding
me of you everyone yell at once

Two Rabbit legs jutting out

I keep my childhood
around almost more than every-
one and a mouse can share
my house wet toot tootsie

it’s kind of great the whole
thing is relative. Since I ad-
mired his mountains I imagin-
ed I was in his landscapes

but opening packages is occurring
all over the place. That’s a
strong image and I feel like
the smallness is directly rooted

forgetting to use the new cal-
endar I planned. These
marks (I imagined) are the sources

all the milk flooding wildly
over the rolling hills and out of
the sun’s comical eyes. Not tears
but creamy drops
of  mammalian weather.

I’m given real information
and the most difficult part
is blindly creating the space
where the parts I can’t
see or even hear spread out
(like the night in Paris when
I walked to the movies
) onto my desk and the surrounding
hills into the bleachers where everyone
is pounding themselves bloody
in salute of the hunt

all I ever wanted was dinner
or at least his
love the delight I see

in him is equally empty for anyone
& probably that’s his
stealth. Inner lake. There’s a car a maroon
a colourless oval I can imagine the
seats and the feeling of hearing
a song as we’re weaving
over hills. There’s no break. Ev-
erybody I ever saw in my
seacoast community is already
facing the problems huge and
gloomy I grant you and the
night spills on my keys which
are splayed over the counter and
outside it’s light. & they are flip-
ping their cards every one of
them.
Close

THAT RAT\'S DEATH

I’m proud
that I fed my avocado
to the mice this
week

To see that scattered dust
around the hole

I felt dis-
appointed the apple had
been spared
the throbbing
soup, home

he said it’s a storm
it’s a storm I thought
am I allowed
to ask entire questions
to take this
space alone

you bobbing
you painted in my dog’s
face so care-
fully

some kind of violence
stretches the thought so
long and allows the horns
of   words to touch each
other. I think of   him

taking
this much space.

you don’t know about this
dish towel
for that matter

who was I in another time
giving the tails so much

puzzled that these spices
went someplace else
they did today in a sandwich

the empty hall into which I am
reading
the empty country
an entire country
I wanted all of them

how I would like
just one to pick
things up in
its cities and its rain

its coast
the outer coat

78 rpm
silly
news-
papers
turning
cat on a porch
and other countries
nearby
& home ready for me
when I have
something to say or
show

if ever
my empty mistakes
my empty vase
my empty powers of   horror
my empty sex

o bring the snow

that rat’s death
killed me because i
would see it for days
over and over and
it hardly could be the same
rat whose insides
whisked the street

we don’t think that war
is such an incredible
mess but it was
just yesterday
and in ancient poems
years ago in the past

dying the balloon just
bursts it cannot

bring u back again

the huge cool breath
the lake doesn’t want
you anymore or her
arms her sweet
muff or breast the storm
the past.

but no I won’t leave
my cheese out for them
anymore and I must be
the last person in the world
in new york to read him
who told us about mice

that sing & fill empty auditoriums
like us and our singing hearts
our formula for bringing
it out. Pulling the receptacle
apart watch the tiny ship
floating on it
smithereens

I ducked the tail edging over

taking a little bit more. The price
of wider concepts is not
choosing your drops oh
flicking me off reminding
me of you everyone yell at once

Two Rabbit legs jutting out

I keep my childhood
around almost more than every-
one and a mouse can share
my house wet toot tootsie

it’s kind of great the whole
thing is relative. Since I ad-
mired his mountains I imagin-
ed I was in his landscapes

but opening packages is occurring
all over the place. That’s a
strong image and I feel like
the smallness is directly rooted

forgetting to use the new cal-
endar I planned. These
marks (I imagined) are the sources

all the milk flooding wildly
over the rolling hills and out of
the sun’s comical eyes. Not tears
but creamy drops
of  mammalian weather.

I’m given real information
and the most difficult part
is blindly creating the space
where the parts I can’t
see or even hear spread out
(like the night in Paris when
I walked to the movies
) onto my desk and the surrounding
hills into the bleachers where everyone
is pounding themselves bloody
in salute of the hunt

all I ever wanted was dinner
or at least his
love the delight I see

in him is equally empty for anyone
& probably that’s his
stealth. Inner lake. There’s a car a maroon
a colourless oval I can imagine the
seats and the feeling of hearing
a song as we’re weaving
over hills. There’s no break. Ev-
erybody I ever saw in my
seacoast community is already
facing the problems huge and
gloomy I grant you and the
night spills on my keys which
are splayed over the counter and
outside it’s light. & they are flip-
ping their cards every one of
them.

THAT RAT\'S DEATH

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère