Tag Archives: fabulous clothes

Regular Poem: The Clothes May or May Not Make the Person (II)

24 Apr

I’ve always been
this way.

It seems to become
more intricate
as I age–
as I gain
more insight into
myself
and other
equally bizarre
things.

Then
I had a hat
I always wore when I played Clue.
It was my detective hat–
some tweed fedora affair,
ugly
and never worn
at any other time,
thrown on
as an 11th-hour accessory
when the occasion arose–
kept in a specific and secure
location.
But now

I cull pieces
and rearrange
push together and pull apart
for every attitude
climate
activity.
Outfit
is a good word
and so is
costume
but
ensemble
fits better:
It’s assembled
or disassembled
from parts
meaningless on their own
ambiguous in the laundry
taking on
new connotations
new shades
old connotations
old shades
different connations
different shades

illuminated
highlighted
deconstructed.

The same
shirt
is suddenly
different

because
the attitude
climate
activity
is
outfitted costumed
in a different
ensemble

because
that ensemble
merges those
disparate pieces
into

a solution–
the solute
the individual article,
the solvent
the character
(or proto-character
for it is unformed
until each molecule 
rests squarely on
the one beneath it).

Or perhaps
the solution
is more mathematical
than chemical
and solves for x
and the x is
how to walk
how to talk
what to do
where to go
how to
be.

I try
not to forget
what manner of woman
I am
and could be
should be
have been
am being.

Clothes never forget–
they may obscure
they may suggest
they may thread ideas
they may weave accounts
they may and
they may not
and they sometimes
do
what I tell them.

Regular Poem: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years

14 Apr

When I’m super rich
the first thing
I’ll do
is hire a tailor

who’ll make me all these
beautifully draped
pieces
that will look
like an extension of myself

not like some bagain-rack jacket
whose sleeves
are too long
that I make work
by jauntily rolling them up

who’ll make me
slacks that are snug
and the right length
and a lot of
one-button blazers
with satin lapels
to wear with them

who’ll make me
gowns and skirts
and just all kinds of blouses
piping and sequins
and epaulettes and brocade

who’ll make me
gush and gush
as I thank her
and throw money at her.

I’ll make some tailor
very happy
when I’m super rich.

Regular Poem: Daydream

24 Apr

It’s a ho-hum humdrum daydream–
no glamor or excitement
no love or enticement–
just an outfit,
the way it’s put together,
culled from pieces,
woven and unwoven again,
yielding itself to vagaries, whims, caprices.

But it’s not just the outfit,
it’s getting into the outfit,
the bit before the outfit,
the primping, yes,
but also the search
through drawers and dressers and closets and piles–
flipping through mental files–
muscle memory, sense memory, memory memory, false memory, wished-for memory–
a clumsy catalogue
of everything and more
and less.

And the reactions
and repercussions
and opportunities
and possibilities.

Regular Poem: I Wear Dusty Rose, Myself

8 Apr

It’s funny at first–
the woman knows it’s not her lipstick
on her straying lover’s collar
because her lipstick
is baby pink
whereas the evidentiary lipstick
is red.
She knows
it’s not her shade;
therefore, the lipstick has
told a tale on her beau–
and it’s also convicted
her best friend.

The lipstick’s a match.
Case closed.

She’s good at lipstick, but
not as good as
our expert witness,
Wynonna.

Connie knows it’s red,
but Wynonna knows her
unfaithful man’s lipstick is
strawberry red.

That’s very specific,
and I can respect that
attention to detail.

Now is this just a general color, though?
Or is she sure of the brand and
everything?

And I want to ask why
she can identify distinct lipsticks
from smudged samples on fabric
but doesn’t have better
taste in men,
but
she probably just has a gift for it–
lipstick comes to her,
colors speak to her.

Men may speak to her, too.
But she knows they’re lying
only when
the lipstick tells her so.

Regular Poem: Lipstick

1 Apr

Dress
for the job you want,
they say.

But what if
you don’t want
a job?
Maybe
you want
a career–
secretaries and jargon and
late nights at the office
calling Tokyo
with Paris on the other line?

Or maybe
luxurious living,
fur coats, fast cars,
steak and champagne?

And what if
the job you have
leaves your clothes
tattered, blood-spattered,
ripped up and perspired upon?

There’s always lipstick,
I say.

Just because you’re not actually
a ’40s movie star
doesn’t mean you can’t be
a ’40s movie star.

Regular Poem: The Clothes May or May Not Make the Person

24 Apr

Different clothes
make a person feel
different. Of course,

I can’t wear clothes that
make me feel
different from
the core person I am–

my clothes always
make me feel like some
version of myself.
I have everyone

I know trained
to recognize which
version of me
he’s dealing with
based on my attire–
including hairdo.

Like today
I’m dressed like
a ’50s bad girl:
pedal pushers, saddle shoes,
black turtleneck, leather jacket,
ponytail with pompadour bangs.

I feel like
putting on red lipstick
and getting in a cat fight,
listening to Elvis in my convertible,
sassing folks at the malt shop.

I might light
my cigarette on your
gas stove and blow
sassy, lipstick-printed

smoke rings at you
and call you a square,
hot-wire a Chevelle

and get sent to a
women’s prison run by
some Ida Lupino knockoff–

start an uprising
and call her a
square, and some
Vincent Price knockoff

evil doctor might
shock treatment me.
But I’m resilient.

I’ll have him seduced
and be back in my
saddle shoes
in a jiff.

And oh don’t worry–
I’ve got mights and coulds and maybes
for every habillement.
Except the boring ones.
Except wait–
I don’t have any boring ones.

Regular Poem: A Blue Scarf

30 Dec

I don’t remember how
I got the idea
to wear that blue scarf.

It wasn’t even
a scarf, really,
so much as a silky handkerchief–
navy blue with white trim
smelling of a beguiling and persistent and unfamiliar perfume–
a ten-by-ten square
of fabric,
ancient, no doubt, before it
happened into my possession.

I was nine-
ish,
and I wore it
as though my head would fall off
my shoulders if it weren’t
cinched tightly around my neck
in a jaunty knot
worn to the left.

I felt so
glamorous
in it.
I felt so
powerful
in it.

My mother wouldn’t let me wear it
anywhere real.
So
it remained a costume piece
in my gallery of fantastical plays:
the ones in which I
saved lost artifacts and belligerent damsels in distress
and shot communists on trains
and solved baffling mysteries
and led bands in parades.

My mother wouldn’t let me wear it
anywhere real
because
she said
it was too small.
She worried
it would suffocate me.

But nowhere did I do more daring deeds
that might jostle it into an accidental noose
than in my own backyard.

To this day
I question
her logic or her veracity.
I’m not sure which.

I don’t know why
I stopped
wearing it.
And
I don’t know where
it went.
I miss it–in those
strange moments
when I suddenly remember
it existed.

But I’m more into red
now, anyway.

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