[Eileen Myles on Harriet]
Do we have copies in poetry, do we have drag. I mean when a poet dies we all stand up and read their work and it’s always interesting to see who does a good version of Creeley or Ruykeser or whoever and who can’t sound like anything but themself or mangles the poem beyond belief and who really interestingly reinterprets the work. Nobody but a filmmaker it seems would ever take on poet drag from another century like what Hal Hartley did in Henry Fool – a kind of handsome romantic with a warbling voice gazes off into the near distance while talking to the other characters in the film. Henry, the poet character seemed torn out of or stuck onto the surface of the film whereas everyone else seemed embedded. The fake poet character created a perception of depth. I would think poetry readings would be more interesting if we either stopped doing introductions altogether and simply had the poet just begin – as if we trusted the poems themselves instead of their constructed reputations.