16 November 2007

sickness and fashion and Mark Doty

All those things do combine in Mark Doty. I drove with Laura and Christy to see him read last night in Indianapolis, despite being certain I would vomit in her car a block from my house. Dramamine was helpful; no vomiting occurred.

Oh Mark Doty, Mark Doty. The reading was perfect.

So for me and sickness, it's still around, but mutating, maybe? Noah says I should be less negative and not assume it's mono or pneumonia, and maybe instead eat soup and drink tea and think well thoughts, basically. So I worked from home yesterday, used my "get your immune system in gear" sugar scrub (rosemary, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and sugar itself has antibacterial properties, and vitamin E oil), did the Neti thing, and drank a pot of black tea and a pot of echinacea tea.

Today, more Neti, more water, at work, wearing my warmest red wool cardigan with the high neck and the double-knit cuffs. My boss just told me I look good in red. I just told my other boss her vest is spectacular; she told me she thought I'd like it. And on Wednesday, before the imminent vomiting, my favorite stylish coworker told me I could pull off the things no one else can.

Me, fashion? I'm just trying to stay warm and a little funky. I can't help wearing scarves and wool. And colored socks and funny shoes and .. jewelery .. yeah.

I think I need to start wearing my mom's really old and beat-up royal blue leather gloves. And to knit myself some fingerless mitts to wear exclusively over the gloves. The gloves are windproof and provide dexterity, but they stop right at my wrist bones. Way too short to keep me warm. So I need some wool action. Maybe with the teal/blue thick and thin. Maybe with the royal blue bulky. Haven't decided.

Knitting, you can go on forever. Fashion, you too. And Mark Doty, leave us with some sequins:

by Mark Doty


Peony silks,
in wax-light:
that petal-sheen,

gold or apricot or rose
candled into-
what to call it,

lumina, aurora, aureole?
About gowns,
the Old Masters,

were they ever wrong?
This penitent Magdalen's
wrapped in a yellow

so voluptuous
she seems to wear
all she's renounced;

this boy angel
isn't touching the ground,
but his billow

of yardage refers
not to heaven
but to pleasure's

textures, the tactile
sheers and voiles
and tulles

which weren't made
to adorn the soul.
Eternity's plainly nude;

the naked here and now
longs for a little
dressing up. And though

they seem to prefer
the invisible, every saint
in the gallery

flaunts an improbable
tumble of drapery,
a nearly audible liquidity

(bright brass embroidery,
satin's violin-sheen)
raveled around the body's

plain prose; exquisite
(dis?)guises; poetry,
music, clothes.


Nothing needs to be this lavish.
Even the words I'd choose
for these leaves;

intricate, stippled, foxed,
tortoise, mottled, splotched
-jeweled adjectives

for a forest by Fabergé,
all cloisonné and enamel,
a yellow grove golden

in its gleaming couture,
brass buttons
tumbling to the floor.

Who's it for?
Who's the audience
for this bravura?

Maybe the world's
just trompe l'oeil,
appearances laid out

to dazzle the eye;
who could see through this
to any world beyond forms?

Maybe the costume's
the whole show,
all of revelation

we'll be offered.
So? Show me what's not
a world of appearances.

Autumn's a grand old drag
in torched and tumbled chiffon
striking her weary pose.

Talk about your mellow
fruitfulness! Smoky alto,
thou hast thy music,

too; unforgettable,
those October damasks,
the dazzling kimono

worn, dishabille,
uncountable curtain calls
in these footlights'

dusky, flattering rose.
The world's made fabulous
by fabulous clothes.

From Atlantis by Mark Doty, published by Harper Perennial. Copyright © 1995 by Mark Doty. Used by permission of the author.

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