Movies have caused me to become / an artist. I guess I simply / believe that life is not / enough. I spin dreams / of the quotidian out of words I / could not help but choose.I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems by Eileen Myles
Myles has always, ever since they first came on the scene, been a master of language. I love the way the artist’s prerogative is characterized here, as something that cannot be chosen, that some other force outside one’s consciousness does the choosing for them.
I remember reading years ago about someone asking Stephen King why he wrote such horrific stories, and his reply being something along the lines of questioning them as to why they thought he would be able to choose what he wrote.
There is something magical about writing, about any creative outlet really, and also something grueling—fierce and terrible and insistent. Sometimes there’s something you just have to get on paper or you know you’ll combust. A character or a line or an image, something fleeting yet enormous, that demands to be made flesh. So you obey. You commit to memory the thing that lives inside you and hope that eventually it will be sated.
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