Not long ago, after yet another extended session of adding more iron-on patches and myriad stitches to my favourite pair of exceptionally worn Levi’s 501s, I posted a pic detailing the state of said jeans on good ol’ Facebook. Friend and poet Brian Bartlett commented that I should really try my hand at a ‘jean-patching’ poem at some point.
Thanks to Brian’s cue, I started jotting a few things down.
The result is another new poem in progress. A few more edits or patches and I’ll likely be ready to send this one out.
A NOTE ON FIDELITY
everything laid bare. the dog? blissfully unaware,
padding through some faded haze of dream, its
indigo folds. your favorite levi’s, lap splayed.
crotch agog; in need of repair, redress. it’s
saturday; there’s coffee; it’s morning. and near
two cups in, your back’s stitched with the riveted
hunch a november’s reticent, greyscaled light asks
of fine effort like this. the day’s already
confounded posturing, each next thought
a seaming. more patch, more dogged denial and
thick-thumbed darn, than original. a slack, frowzy
derivative. and you know this, this uneven
arithmetic; the domestic tetris of each inner thigh,
how each step is both unspoken terror and vague
hope, all at once. a knit-and-purl logic. truth
is, you only wish your worry unseemly. each
breath: a thread weight, drawn – upholstery’s
thick gauge a knowing nod to coverings-up. this is,
at best, a juvenile failure. middle school fumbling.
your uneven stabbing a staccato sheet music for
some psalm to the little-known saint of dropped
stitches, loose knots. suffice it to say you’ve
pricked your numbed fingers, but you’ve yet to
draw blood. your pockets hold nothing but vague
recollections of clenched fists and chewed nails,
the cotton a loose gauzy liminal staunching some
yet unseen wound. you wish, once again,
you’d been as transparent; understood what
worked denim might proffer. about effort and fabric?
about honesty, about mending? no. about how
fray serves as both verb and as noun. sometimes,
all at once.