T shirt poetics

July 29, 2011

Dedicated to all those who have ever worn a T shirt with a message on it. Written back in the Old Days when Kevin Rudd was running for Prime Minister.

T shirt poetics

That downwards stroke, belly hugging I
imprinted with messages curt or cute;
each body a chap-book (or chick-book)
moving past the reader.  Mobile library,
hanging garden of haiku in Babble-on.
A glance up from well thumbed phone
must be all these poetical shirts expect.
First there are the desperate and flirty,
such as ’69’, all tucked soixante and hide
that croissant.  It’s enough to make you latte
your lap.  Or not.
Then come the polly tics,
with their saves and bans, their heavenly
Kevins.  The shirts have faded over Summer,
but not the bloom of the loveliest wearers.
I wore them once, such earnest eager screeds,
but that wench is dead, slogans so long gone.
Someone should wear that rude arrowed
‘I’m with Stupid’ when they sit next to me,
such is my love of  ‘Paris, je t’aime’ with a heart
above the wearer’s pumping one, as if Cupid
were about, looking for targets, the susceptible
or the contemptible. I sit, sip and compose
my own T shirts, such as ‘Gives good sonnet’
and the more complex ‘It’s a couplet.

Then ‘Get a Life’ walks past, not very nice.
But I see the point, and I take its advice.

P.S. Cottier

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