Illustration by Milano Chow
Vice: What were you like as a teenager?
Eileen: Like lots of kids, I had a private life that was composed of Mad magazine, Twilight Zone episodes, sci-fi novels, and some books that seemed sort of smart, like Brave New World. Then I got to college and there were all these remarkable people who were talking about things like “reality” and “illusion.” I was just floored.
You hadn’t really thought about stuff that was so serious yet?
Only to the extent that things appeared in science fiction. Or girls staying up late talking about weird stuff. Fantasy. Heaven and hell and stuff.
Totally the unknown.
ose was number one. Fairly light hair on a warm young mound. Later I knew this poet from Boston, and he lived in a loft in Little Italy with a girl who made art. Their life seemed perfect. And she was number two—I got her. She was like a welder or something, though she was small. Not tiny, but slight. Not really skinny, but normal looking, beautiful. She was a little beaky, but with beautiful breasts. We started pal-ing around. She admired my straight-leg jeans and Chinese shoes, immediately she got the same. When I think of our friendship we are walking in the rain, getting the toes of our shoes wet in puddles. After they broke up she quietly called and wanted to hang out. I couldn’t believe that I was soon taking her pants down on my bed. She liked to drink booze. I remember her smiling face looking down into a glass with about an inch of whiskey. She wore glasses. She took them off and she was hot. Clits were all different. Hers was larger. All rubbery, more like porn. I had seen a pussy like hers before but not so close. It was like a lip going vertical. I mean, if you had your head right there. It was kind of a lippy trail, actually this is not her clit, it’s her labia I’m describing, what I used to describe as a little girl my gum. Outer gum. Hers was a very uncomplicated female and large, a red road to a small swollen button. I kept thinking I can’t believe she feels this way about me. She came over to do this. I put my two fingers on the spot and rubbed. I have always been an unpredictable masturbator, spending hours for naught. Getting huge, and then having to go out in pain. Then I’ll touch myself for a second in a public toilet (New York Public Library, always great) and the walls of the world cave in. So I was just kind of scrubbing away, moving her jelly part, not the button itself the way it hangs, it wiggling sits. She groaned. It was a teeny way she sounded when she looked at art, but this was a deeper older oh. She was a woman. One by one the women I knew who seemed to be girls, or men, or just strangers—when all their muscles tensed then released, and they said oh it was like the deepest voice they had. Like the secret room behind all the other apartments now connected to mine. This oh. I didn’t think of it then, but I think of it now, all the guy poets’ fake ohs. Next to this one so female and true. Is that what man wants to do? O Brazil. O New York. O Poetry! Just let me come like her. She got mad. You can stop. I mean I sort of knew, but I wasn’t sure. Between women if you’re having sex, you’ve got to be sure. And slowly that’s where you live. Who wouldn’t give up being in a whole lot of shitty poetry magazines for this. Chris had rough black hair on her crotch. It got rougher when she drank all the time. I began to think of her pussy as an animal. We tended its coat. I was always willing to have sex with her, but I liked it better when she was pretty and clean. One woman was told by a lover that she had a fat cooch. It was true—her outer lips were pillowy and fat. Full. Her inner lips were regulation healthy and her clit—it was a small red little spud. It was however guardian of one of the most avid pussies I’ve ever known. Not the biggest, but damn the most willing, most sporting. I fucked her once for ten hours straight. She puked and she wanted to continue. I would never be allowed to sleep. I was hallucinating. I used this hand, then that. Fingers individually, in groups and my whole fucking hand, again and again. I used my dick. It was a nice fat boy, rather featureless which at the time seemed correct, a white guy who appeared out of the fly of my overalls, I was being a farmer boy and when she felt it wagging between my legs as I bent over her in front of a fire, her eyes lit up. Thanks to the fire I was able to see this glory. She told me that she landed in a hospital once because she had urged her boyfriend to fuck her while she was hanging out a 23rd-story window of a huge apartment building in Manhattan. Apparently this high-intensity fucking caused some kind of lump in the walls of her vagina and she wound up in the hospital where she learned something or other that was sad.
But she was in there for fucking. I mean that’s pretty good. There was a small woman who had a lacy-looking pussy that she hated. There was like this frottage over her clit. Instead of a hood it had a large mantilla. She wasn’t the kind of woman who could laugh at her puss. It made her sick what she considered her irregularity, the wave of skin that dangled between her legs. I would have told her it was pretty if she let me. It was unique. She was not a girl even slightly about letting, allowing, suffering anything at all. She had levels of protection like the shaft of an elevator. She was way up there somehow, unknown but looking down like a little girl incredibly mean who could issue commands. After her orgasms, screaming ugh. Then I met a woman who described her clit as a monster. There is nearly no woman who regards her pussy as normal. I remember seeing a pussy I recognized on the back outside cover of an art magazine. It was like it was supposed to be a big secret whose pussy it was. I mean they didn’t say her name underneath though they did give you the name of the photographer which was kind of a hint. But then everyone said oh yeah, you saw the picture of blank’s pussy, like everyone was really in on it. But I recognized the pussy. I actually knew her tits better than her pussy, because her tits were that kind that are indented, the tip of the nipple goes in, not out. Which is incredibly common, or else coincidentally I had two such breasts (or girlfriends) back to back which made me think it must be common. The first one’s did look odd to me. I can’t imagine what straight women do, going through life only being looked at by men and doctors. At some point you always have to have a frank conversation about the tits or the puss or the ass. If you live with her you have it day in and day out. Maybe men do this too. The girl I described as extraordinarily hungry—she in fact regarded her puss with the same enthusiastic love as any other part of her, perhaps that was her oddity (to me). Her pussy was no more special than her fingertips or cheek. Sexually she was entirely alive, so neither liked nor disliked her clit, it was her. It was the whole rest of the world she had a problem with, so it was great she had this gift, her wonderful successful body. The woman who regarded hers as monstrous nonetheless is entirely addicted to hers. I was too. The tiny shelf of skin I slipped my tongue and finger alongside of, it’s like the backside of a rubber duck. And so I knew my sweet toy’s edges in the dark quietly going to sleep with ducky in mind. The hood of it was slick, so she had a small cap between her legs a bullet of pleasure and power. Even after she had one of her outrageous sunset orgasms which she details while still basking in its immense succulent corona slowly with an utterly generous and female smile on her face, a satisfied smile and kind, she urges me to put my finger on her secret fingertip and feel the blood pump as the pleasure is ebbing away. She’s always ready for a nap and then to go again. She’s always just finding it. Every time we fuck she forgets that it’s ever been that great before. Her eyes are closed and she proclaims that never, never before has she experienced anything to even remotely approach what that felt like. Does sex ever feel like this for a man. Does his tree change and spout. Does his system get up, does he go. I once was laying in bed with her and she got me off just by touching and I am still sinking backward in that picture, a morning in which I lie in bed looking out the window at a passing train.
This piece is an excerpt from the forthcoming The Inferno/a poet’s novel. So… why pussy? I don’t know. It seems like every female artist at some point does, you know, pussy photographs. And it’s like, is that beautiful or is that horrendous? There’s such a diversity of opinion about the female… genitals—outside of their use. That’s agreed upon. It’s true. And I’d never seen a female writer do just like a procession of beaver shots. So I said, “I’m just gonna do pussy wallpaper.” Is it based on, you know, real people? It’s many people. Many different real people.