(Left) Dame Barbara Hepworth, Stringed Figure (Curlew) (Maquette), 1956. Brass and string on a wooden base. Image courtesy of Christie's.    (Right) Dame Barbara Hepworth, Wave, 1943-44. Wood, paint, string. Copyright: © BOWNESS for works by Barbara Hepworth

(Left) Dame Barbara Hepworth, Stringed Figure (Curlew) (Maquette), 1956. Brass and string on a wooden base. Image courtesy of Christie's.
(Right) Dame Barbara Hepworth, Wave, 1943-44. Wood, paint, string. Copyright: © BOWNESS for works by Barbara Hepworth


15 minutes

by Eileen Myles


 

the beaming sun
sun
out there
resembles
a lightbulb
the sun
is that bright
Asheville is on a mountain
of Crystal
that inspired me
I had to get out of there
fast
depending on who
uses it
anything
you make
can
be broken
reset
I can hear the faint
pattern
of the water
falling on tin
or stainless
steel. Its ugly
little message
doesn’t annoy me
so much as make
me wonder
if it’s making
lines in the air
my cofee is so
black and that’s complete
and so I must
break it. I had
so much to say
today and yet I stretched
out. I thought “62.”
That’s 8. And Cathy
said today was
a full moon. It means
everything: how I turned
my hip on the slide
and almost hurt
myself. The tray that
sat in my mother’s
house forever
is on my counter
now. Useless and like
forever. Greedy about
time these ffteen
minutes. It begins nailing
the sink like
a rattle has a fnale.
Rather than allowing
me to search Doug
gently cut me of.
And this is enough.

The check could’ve been
larger. I wanted you
to be charmed by
how she lived with the plants
and the clocks
in the house. My insane
devotion to my
mother. I will not call
her. To thank her
on this day, an 8. No
I am enjoying
my rattling cofee
the sound of the knife
its drips really slicing
time which is
sound as whole
as I know. I understand
my perfect love
for you and this is apart from that too.
Cofee like a black
pen on my birthday
a sound that is making lines
a hand that will fll
them. I deposit
my check. I say
thank you mother.

 
 

Published May 5th, 2019
First published in
Evolution, reprinted with permission from the author


Eileen Myles came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet, subsequently a novelist, public talker and art journalist. A Sagittarius, their twenty books include evolution (poems), Afterglow (a dog memoir), a 2017 re-issue of Cool for You, I Must Be Living Twice/new and selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize from the PSA, and a poetry award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2016, Myles received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. In 2019 they’ll be teaching at NYU and Naropa University and they live in New York and Marfa, TX.



Barbara Hepworth distinguished herself as a world-recognized sculptor in a period where female artists were rare. She evolved her ideas and her work as an influential part of an ongoing conversation with many other important artists of her time, working crucially in areas of greater abstraction while creating three dimensional objects. Her development of sculptural vocabularies and ideas was complex and multi-faceted. This included the use of a wide range of physical materials for sculpting and an unprecedented sensitivity to the particular qualities of those materials in helping decide the ultimate results of her sculptures, the investigation of "absence" in sculpture as much as "presence," and deep considerations of the relationship of her sculptural forms to the larger spaces surrounding it.