Is it All it’s Cracked Up to Be?

Accept the fact that everything that makes up your world is there because you attracted it with your own thoughts. Realize that you can control your thoughts and emotions.

Vertical crack in the wall near a corner by a door.

Image by Estela.

Three YouTube “stars” touted the statement I quoted above. They fell to their deaths last summer. Swimming near a waterfall. Where they weren’t supposed to be.  Because it was dangerous. But they didn’t care. They were living it up. “Living the life.”

Um, well, I guess they attracted their demise.

In November, I learned that Eileen Myles was coming to San Francisco for an “Artist’s Talk.” At the Nourse Theater. On Hayes Street. I learned about it the evening before the event, when Myles posted it on her Instagram. I said, Shit! I have to go see her! I have to!

In the morning, I bought a ticket, and in the evening I went to the Nourse Theater to see Eileen Myles. I had a front row seat. On the right side section (facing the stage). I sat in the first seat, next to the inside aisle. Afterward, I bought her book of poems, Evolution. Stood in line to have her sign it. It was positively surreal for me. There she was: Eileen Myles. In person. In front of me.

When Myles was a young, New York poet, Gingsberg attended her reading. Her first poetry book launch, if I remember correctly. He was there. Gingsberg. Allen Gingsberg. She’s always been, it seems to me, in the right place at the right time. Robert Mapplethorpe photographed her. That portrait is on the cover of her novel, Chelsea Girls. (At least, the 2015 edition, which I read.) I mean, a 24 year old chick from Boston moves to New York in 1974 to be a poet, and crosses paths with a famous poet and a famous photographer. Now she is famous. Well, celebrity poet famous. (I only learned of her in February 2018. Which means her fame continues to expand.) Actually, Gingsberg and Mapplethorpe were more famous in their day. That is to say, known in/by the mainstream, at times making the evening news. I guess Myles is mostly known by poets, writers (established or not), creative writing and English teachers/professors, Hollyweird celebs, and, I suppose, lesbians interested in lesbian literature/poetry. I had seen her name on lit sites, but I never looked her up. Until I saw an article about her in The Guardian. That peaked my interest. Now, I’m a fan. Jane-come-late Estela.

She went through tough times, starting out, had some “wild” times (booze, drugs, sex), and worked hard to get to where she’s at. I guess all her thoughts and emotions got her there, where ever she was, and where she is now.

She’s also a photographer. Exhibits her work. I very much like her photos. She has a good eye. It’s a poetic eye. Unlike Patti Smith. IMO, P.S’s photos are shit. But being famous, she can exhibit. I just read Smith’s Devotion: Why I write. I hate it. IMO, it sucks. It’s horrible. Once upon a time, Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not Patti’s. She was an American artist, and she had no guilt. The rebel I idolized. She seems 180 degrees from that now. Even the title, Devotion, strikes me as so fucking pious. Sanctimonious. Ugh! My obsession with her has disintegrated. My admiration pulverized. Not to mention, her connection to Robert Mapplethorpe. He was a genius photographer. No doubt. But he was also a narcissistic jerk. (My opinion after watching a Mapplethorpe documentary.) That is the man she loved/loves? (First romantically, then Platonically.) IDK. It just bothers me.

After becoming aware of Eileen Myles, I’m like, shit, Eileen Myles is a better poet role model than Emily Dickinson. Except, Myles and I are the same age. So, you know, it’s too effing late. To begin, I mean. I just have to keep going, but I have to get out of my room, so-to-speak. More often, anyway. But, I gotta say, Dickinson is the superior poet. The Queen. The Empress. Sits next to Shakespeare. In Poet’s Heaven.

Myles wanted to be famous. I never dreamed about being a “celebrity poet.” Never crossed my mind. BUT, I have dreamed of my poetry living beyond me. Dreamed of my verse being alive. You know?

I read at Lit Crawl and Lit Quake last year. I’d say my thoughts and emotions got me there. Cuz I’ve thought about it and desired it for several years. I guess the stars finally aligned.

Thoughts and emotions have something to do with what you attract into your life. I guess. But there’s also luck. Surely. Was watching Micheal Bublé being interviewed on tv recently. He said he attributed his success to luck. The interviewer thinks he’s being modest, reminds him he’s “got a set of pipes.” He says, “Yeah, but so do all those American Idol singers.”

Yeah. It is. It’s luck. I hope luck kisses me. I’m putting my thoughts and emotions into that. Just in case. You know?

♥                           ♥                                 ♥                            ♥

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About Poet Dressed In Black

Poet. Artist. Grammy of one, a granddaughter. Mom of three, son and two daughters, all grown. Individualist. Care-taker of Isabel, an agoraphobic, fear-aggressive, very nervous, delicate flower, Chihuahua mix.
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