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.



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.


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