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Transom:
These poems come from a larger series entitled “Griffiths.” Can you fill us in a bit about the project? Who is Griffith?

Myers:
These poems come from a larger series I wrote some summers back while I was living in Basin, Montana. I was reading a lot of old Scouting and First Aid manuals at the time, and courting my partner. Griffiths came rather quickly through town, and I felt I had to grab them. I was thinking about safety, first aid, community, and how one recognizes and is recognized. Griffith is less a person or character than a state of being. I have to thank Amanda Lovelee, who hiked with me that summer and drove me into town.

Transom:
In your poem “Griffiths [In the parlor],” the speaker appears to relish his/her condition of solitude (“no one else is here/to meddle”), but the process of “letting down milk” implies that there is a baby somewhere in this landscape. We love the tonal shift that occurs at the word “chum,” but were wondering: This chum is being dismissed, but in favor of what?

Myers:
I thought about the relationship between milk and children. In this poem I am both provider and providee. Letting down one’s milk is about losing control over oneself in the context of romance and sexual love. It’s about falling in love. In letting one’s chum go, one lets the contents of one’s body out into the open, allow the beloved to either swim on in or be repulsed. What is more likely to happen is both. How one hides one’s revulsion is the first stage of a relationship. Milk here is less about a baby than about one’s relationship with one’s body, in the things that ingestion produces. The speaker is alone in the parlor but in other rooms is partnered, siblinged, eaten and eating.