Friday, September 10, 2010

The Visible Zipper

The Visible Zipper

The visible zipper:
miniature train tracks
announcing where
the dress closes,
skinny steel vertebrae
stacked to the neck.

The garment’s work
exposed, a process
accentuated. A seam
meant to be seen.

Decorative, useful,
easily cajoled up or
down. The fence
between fabric and
flesh. Concealment
regularly undone.


  1. I am smiling at your ingenuity.... Next time I zip up I will be thinking of this. xo

  2. This is a fun, accurate, novel description, making the commonplace and underappreciated zipper a work of ingenuity and art. Thanks! I like every line, but especially the final stanza.

  3. Mrs. Little Jeans and I both chose the word ingenuity, independently! I think it's great she applied it to you, rather than the zipper!

  4. Fun!

    There was an article a few days ago about just this thing, and how designers are now putting zippers on the outside to solve the problem of "invisible" zippers catching and breaking.

  5. words that let me vividly imagine exactly how it looks...


  6. Your inventiveness amazes and surprises me so often! I love this one, reminds me a bit of Dave's "Tools" odes.

  7. Interestingly, for those of us who used to sew at home, the insertion of the zipper revealed your skill or lack thereof! A point of judgment about the creator. It could make or break your garment, eliciting admiration from your mother ("look at how well she put in that zipper") or disapproval from your home ec teacher ("rip that out and start over again"). I always think about the hands that stitched the zipper in.

  8. """Irish poets, learn your trade, sing whatever is well made
    scorn the sort now growing up
    all out of shape from toe to top..."""

    WB Yeats

  9. I like the sounds in "seam meant to be seen" and the overall playfulness of this poem. Also, the Siberia photos are AMAZING!

  10. I like the ending, the undone quality focused on with the zipper as theme.

  11. from Therese B. -- also like Neruda's odes to ordinary objects. Great vivid images. Zippers: perhaps the last vestige of women's concealing corsets and chastidy belts?


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