State of Relax

Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles, pink, 2020. Digital photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.

November 3, 2020

I’m wondering what it would be like if the United States just let go. Like stopped uniting. Like stop opposing part to part, and a foot say Florida just relaxed shaking all those old bodies free and extended itself deeper into the water maybe nudging Cuba, not even entirely doing that but making wavy gestures in its direction. Texas could just fall back on itself and sprawl into Mexico not being different being the same and really vanishing into Mexico and sliding sliding sliding into Guatemala and El Salvador thinking I’m you some parts skidding into south America. Way up north south dakota and north Dakota go I’m you too. And together both of them forget who they am. Cape Cod goes to Europe. On a tiny boat with Bas Jan Ader his toes leaning over the edges of Provincetown. What’ll Alaska do. Become Canada and Canada says I’m Russia and Russia roars and goes to sleep. California becomes one giant bed. It lies its head on Mexico hello and scratches its toes against Oregon who’s asleep in the arms of Washington who wants to change their name right away. Montana has an excess of sperm which it buries in a national park no longer dependent on anyone Wyoming hates being square, trims its corner to rounded edges flutes itself with giant fingers it found when south Dakota was erasing a line on a map and these big chunks flung up. Arkansas gets out of its underwear embarrasses Missouri which passes out and has a great dream about making out with Iowa on a yoga retreat. Distantly we dream of West Virginia falling falling Ohio is glum then saturnine. This is the nation state. Indiana. Hardly. Kentucky galumph galumph Tennessee decorating so gay Mississippi transitioning into alabama Georgia on an eating binge south Carolina and north Carolina on a camping trip up Virginia’s ass Maryland and Delaware tickled ohio must no I’m free now to go to new York lying on its back with its knees up to its chin. Maine and Vermont virtual ice cream factories melting and cows sliding heavily on glaciers of cream. Cows kissing goats new Hampshire still prickly but no one gets hurt. Drizzles sweetly new Hampshire comes alone but happily what’s so great about the lakes Michigan rolling in and rolling out and rolling in again getting my ass scratched by Canada yaaaaa Minnesota hugs me tight we will never have an election again we are nothing but a flag that Kansas remembers wiping sweat across its face embracing everyone chewy Colorado pink rain coming down on the rest a flapping of enormous wings as a country falls apart tiny little island shells Hawaii in the sea Utah with its tongue handing out Idaho has a bucket and a puddle Arizona and new Mexico doors flapping Louisiana pure genitalia Illinois head first into the water Pennsylvania lemon face give it up Nebraska you are the loosest kook of all and animals walk naked on your past. New Jersey all profile getting that rubbed Connecticut without its tip Rhode island hot top. Everyone’s choosing Wisconsin Nevada da da da, da da da, da da da like never before and this is regret this is history our nation gutted animal our everything our gravy gone numerous histories bleeding story baby more gone what’s left in the noodle of the continent high and hot planet falling off into low entropy sun’s everything a pitch, everything’s nuts & exploding

Click here to hear Eileen Myles read “State of Relax”

Borders & Frontiers, Sexuality & Eroticism
USA, Entropy

Eileen Myles is a poet whose recent book For Now from Yale Press is a talk/essay about writing. In 2018 Eileen showed their photos at Bridget Donahue, New York, and in 1991–92 they conducted an openly female write-in campaign for President of the United States.

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November 3, 2020

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