Tag Archives: fashion

Other Colors Besides Black

I often wondered, when I was a goth
(did we have that name back in ’85?)
about the downward spiral of the world;
and contemplated shadows, where I thought

the secrets of the universe were kept.
From chiaroscuro, I firmly believed,
a balance quite long-lost could be restored.
But just how deep I thought, I question now;

it could be I was restless, young and bored
with trying to achieve so-called success,
and plotted revolutions in my mind
that would require no real degree of work.

With who I used to be, I’d like to share
a lesson learned from twenty shadowed years:
there are so many colors besides black;
the only limits are imagined ones.

05 AUG 2009

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Howard Jones

So many inspirations have escaped,
slipped through the cracks,
their golden finish tarnished
when confronted with the facts

Some let their fame get to them,
others watched it slip away,
often so caught up in business
that they never learned to play

Fashion changes oh so quickly,
and the new face on the scene
becomes a phantom overnight,
or yesterday’s has been.

But some remain undaunted,
though their names have left the charts,
and try to carry on the quest
that first inspired their hearts.

His voice still pure and crystal sweet,
the song more poignant now:
for truly, no one is to blame,
despite it all, somehow.

16 JUN 2005

I’ve always been a Howard Jones fan. When he hit the scene in the early 1980’s, I was a young singer, songwriter and multinstrumentalist looking for my own voice, my own way to communicate. In those days, it seemed there were so few pop stars who actually studied music, who went through the discipline to learn an instrument, to let the beauty of their voices, not the genius of production, carry their message. Howard Jones, to me, was worth listening to, if only for those factors; the further point that the songs he wrote and sang were positive messages, that spoke to the inner sadness and beauty of a world I was just coming to know, made him even more important. Just this evening, I saw him perform on the NBC Show “Hit Me Baby One More Time” — and was once again transported, in tears, by the beauty of his voice, by his unassuming presence, by his lyrics. Thank you, Howard Jones. Sorry I lost track of you for all this time.

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It may be that the swath through life I cut
runs down a different seam than I once thought
would turn into a finished garment; what
great pattern looked so perfect when I bought
it, now seems out of style and so ill-fitting
that it more suits a clown, like a disguise
designed to fool my parents, and their unwitting
support of crazy dreams, sad notions and white lies.

What were once intended as fine robes of sable
turn out to wear so quickly, and to fray
along the dragging edges; I’m not able
to hide the muddy edges where the lining’s worn away.
Yet pretending that my world is still defined
by clothes that make the man who isn’t there
is little more than dress-up play. Only a blind
fool would pretend they haven’t noticed, or don’t care.

And who would go to Mardi Gras in rags,
or celebrate a ball in some worn, shabby gown?
Even the poorest ne’er-do-well will drag
a pompous get-up from the closet to paintroll the town.
So that loose-fitting, monstrous thing I’ve sewn
will never do to be seen in or see;
‘tho built with care, its appeal has not grown,
nor does it portray who I’d like to be.

I stand, quite sadly, naked to the mirror,
that will not, though I’ve bribed it, tell a lie;
The bright light overhead just makes much clearer
those flaws I’ve tried to cover, by and by.
These yards of cloth, whose colors seemed to suit me
some years ago, now seem too bold and garish;
and scars from scissors mar the look completely.
I cannot leave the house. I’m too embarrassed.

Yet, I can’t bear to don a robe and sandals,
or throw some shapeless mumu round my girth.
Besides, such things just fuel the neighbor’s scandals
who like to cast aspersions on my worth.
Am I these clothes? This look? This sense of fashion?
They hardly seem to fit me or my dreams,
or match the style and vigor of my passions,
which masquerade in a t-shirt and jeans.

02 MAY 2005

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