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
  editor
  Stanzas
  [fragment]
  ca 1841
Penguin, 1990©


Philipp Pröls
Robbie Wadge