Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sabbath slack jeans

After a lifetime in baggy khakis,
I noticed a fashion note in the
political press the other day, to
the effect that our brownshirts
were affecting one's style, to dis-
guise, as Roxane Gay put it in The
one did feel a sting in that aper-
çu, and waves of sympathetic panic
for the iconography of white medi-
ocrity's epidemic hold on American
sportswear, to say nothing of waist-
bands worn to be read, as keys to
the kingdom. That said, one's medi-
ocrity can become a badge of some
kind of honor, the less adaptive
it appears - not to force too ag-
gressively, that equation between
indolence and privilege we all en-
joy denying. No; the adoption of
an indistinguishably same pair of
trousers for the span of an am-
bulatory life, has a way of free-
ing the mind to propose itself in
other terms. I can't enumerate the
daydreams I've preserved, by never
going shopping. In liberty of de-
lectation, too, and ignoring its
grievous insensitivity to the em-
ployment of millions, abstinence
may represent the next best thing
to the avoidance of restaurants.

Of course this is a conservative,
quaintly rural disposition, with-
out any of these justifications
at its source. Where continuities
are as detestably illegitimate as
the ones our mediocrities favor,
I wear no pocket for them. But I
have other reasons for abstaining
from trifling deflections from my
style. I did not invent them.

                 Black absence hides upon the past
                    I quite forget thy face
                 And memory like the angry blast
                    Will love's last smile erase

                 I try to think of what has been
                    But all is blank to me
                 And other faces pass between
                    My early love and thee

Selected Poetry
Geoffrey Summerfield
  ca 1841
Penguin, 1990©

Philipp Pröls
Robbie Wadge

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