Our Poem Of The Week, presented in association with Poetry Ireland, is Peanut Butter by Eileen Myles.

Watch Eileen reading Peanut Butter at Trinity College Dublin on Monday 6 February 2017, presented by Poetry Ireland in association with the School of English at Trinity College Dublin:

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An important and beloved radical icon of American letters, Eileen Myles has been described as 'one of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature'. She has published twenty books of poetry, art journalism, fiction, plays and libretti, and both she and her poems have recently appeared in the hit US TV series Transparent

Peanut Butter

I am always hungry

& wanting to have

sex. This is a fact.

If you get right

down to it the new

unprocessed peanut

butter is no damn

good & you should

buy it in a jar as

always in the

largest supermarket

you know. And

I am an enemy

of change, as

you know. All

the things I

embrace as new

are in

fact old things,

re-released: swimming,

the sensation of

being dirty in

body and mind

summer as a

time to do

nothing and make

no money. Prayer

as a last re-

sort. Pleasure

as a means,

and then a

means again

with no ends

in sight. I am

absolutely in opposition

to all kinds of

goals. I have

no desire to know

where this, anything

is getting me.

When the water

boils I get

a cup of tea.

Accidentally I

read all the

works of Proust.

It was summer

I was there

so was he. I

write because

I would like

to be used for

years after

my death. Not

only my body

will be compost

but the thoughts

I left during

my life. During

my life I was

a woman with

hazel eyes. Out

the window

is a crooked

silo. Parts

of your

body I think

of as stripes

which I have

learned to

love along. We

swim naked

in ponds &

I write be-

hind your

back. My thoughts

about you are

not exactly

forbidden, but

exalted because

they are useless,

not intended

to get you

because I have

you & you love

me. It’s more

like a playground

where I play

with my reflection

of you until

you come back

and into the

real you I

get to sink

my teeth. With

you I know how

to relax. &

so I work

behind your

back. Which

is lovely.


is out of control

you tell me &

that’s what’s so

good about

it. I’m immoderately

in love with you,

knocked out by

all your new

white hair

why shouldn’t


I have always

known be the

very best there

is. I love

you from my


starting back

there when

one day was

just like the

rest, random

growth and

breezes, constant

love, a sand-

wich in the

middle of


a tiny step

in the vastly


path of

the Sun. I

squint. I

wink. I

take the


From I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems, Ecco Press 2016