today’s ensemble (plus Stan on chimerae, Isadora on love, Eileen on poetry, and musings on paisley)

I’m not slacking on the outfit documentation. It’s just that I’ve been working hard on an essay that I promised someone I’d write. I don’t really like writing essays. I like musing. But OK, it’s part of the job description, yes?

Reading interstitially. Absolutely bowled over by Stan Apps’ e-book, Universal Stories with Unknown Particulars. Read it. Just read it:

To understand the world by dominating it won’t work. We might understand it by stitching together samples – making mythological unions between our data. Griffins and centaurs and chimeras of description…. the actual world spits up insights as furious recalcitrant spatters of unsought facts.

Also, finally getting to my copy of Isadora Duncan’s autobiography that Gary kindly bought for me at Moe’s a couple of months ago:

I have sometimes been asked whether I consider love higher than art, and I have replied that I cannot separate them, for the artist is the only lover

and

The dominant note of my childhood was the constant spirit of revolt against the narrowness of the society in which we lived, against the limitations of life and a growing desire to fly eastward to something I imagined might be broader.[I can so totally relate.]

or at the kitchen table this morning, an interview with Eileen Myles in The Brookyn Rail which is at least one third about clothing, but also offers such wisdoms as these:

“at all costs, a poet must not make platitudes. Nobody needs them.” [I love that this is itself a platitude]

[on living in NY instead of San Diego] “I kind of want there to be a lot of pockmarks and crevices. I want a lot of engagement.”

“Poetry’s like a valve.…when you get to look at a poet in action, that’s exactly what you see. It’s circuitry.”

“all a poet really needs for survival is a pair of boots.”

So, on to the outfits. Yesterday’s was deceptively simple, in a muted palette of grayed purple and purpled gray. The skirt is, wondrously, both ruched and godet’d. If you have ever sewn anything, you know how cool that is. The top is just that perfect shade of deep eggplant and together, these colors deceive me into thinking I might just be sophisticated. The bangles give off an oil-slick iridescence.

today's ensemble

As I was flaneuring about the neighborhood in the afternoon (oh, and this is a story in itself), a woman who caught me taking this picture of this sign

public discourse

… and then told me she was the author of it told me she liked my outfit and offered to buy me an ice cream at the delicious artisanal ice cream place on Church Ave., NYC ICY. I demurred, telling her that I was trying to resist. I mean, I’ve lost thirteen pounds and would like to lose more, and ice cream on these sultry days is my greatest weakness. OK, not my GREATEST weakness, but a very great one nonetheless. But oh, their hazelnut gelato! in a sugar cone! That flavor costs a dollar more but it is so completely an absorbing experience, the way it is eating a really excellent bowl of ramen although of course it tastes nothing at all like ramen.

Today’s outfit matches the apartment. It’s cheap and polyester, but I like how it references early 70s hostess dresses, you know? I wish I knew more about designers, because I know this paisley typifies someone’s style, I am just drawing a blank at the moment. Anyone designer-savvy out there? Kim R.?

today's ensemble

Paisley, too, warrants its own rhapsody: stylized forms of nature. Signification: India, drugs, movement. Wikipedia sez:

Resembling a large comma or twisted teardrop, the kidney-shaped paisley is Indian and Persian in origin, but its western name derives from the town of Paisley, in central Scotland.[citation needed]

In Sanskrit the design is known as mankolam and has long been used in India. It resembles a mango and has sometimes been associated with Hinduism.[3]

Some design scholars call the distinct shape boteh and believe it is the convergence of a stylized floral spray and a cypress tree: a Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity.

My mother started dressing me in paisley when I was still tiny. She made for me a beautiful little paisley dress, and here’s the documentation to prove it. Note the art on the wall. I’m wondering if they are my mom’s originals? (Photo taken in Chicago, I’m guessing in 1967 or 1968)

2 thoughts on “today’s ensemble (plus Stan on chimerae, Isadora on love, Eileen on poetry, and musings on paisley)

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