Monday, March 21, 2011



Converse All-Stars are engaged
in saintly work. They cradle feet.
They take up our unwieldiness
and plant us flat on the pavement,
paint us with plainness, help us
notice our feet less so that we
can walk more naturally. Age
does the same thing for us,
the longer we navigate our bodies,
the less likely we are to crash
into others without leaving
a note, an apology, the formula
for antimatter. Converse is the brand
of youthful resistance to
behaving. Behave, we have all
been scolded, as if there is only one
way to act appropriately.
Converse, the brand
of willfully not committing
to a singular purpose. Shoes are
purpose converted into textile,
canvas, rubber, leather, metal.
How do we plan to get anywhere.
We talk our bodies into acting
how we’d like them to
in the language of clothing.
How beautifully we converse.


  1. Oh, look how you did that! Clever Hannah. :-)

  2. Great unexpectedness with the Converse and age comparison. The lines about navigating our bodies and how we're more likely to take responsibility for our mistakes the older we get (paraphrasing your beautiful writings)...really nice

  3. I connect! Love the poem, wear the shoes (flat on the pavement is right, so I don't wear them everywhere), and want to dance on the wall! Thanks for sending me to OSU Urban Arts Space, too. I "Liked" it on Facebook and will make sure area family knows of it!

  4. What a morning joy, the link from Too Much August to your poem and its associations. Very well done, thank you.

  5. Yes I agree with Fireblossom, how clever! Though, this has been a pragmatically useful prose piece for me because I'm going to shop for a pair of tennis shoes today.

    And as one who can definitely relate to the body's insidious aged wielding, I NEED Converse!
    At my age, though, I'm questioning Thomas L. Friedman's notion the 'the world is flat'.

  6. Oh how I miss my converse sneakers! I did feel planted on the pavement wearing them.

    That image is amazing.

  7. Hope you caught my tweet re: this very delightful poem.

  8. The play between dressing/clothing/the body/image/us, I like how you address it here. That said, I have several Converse wearing friends who would enjoy this (I have a blue pair in my closet too!).

  9. I've always had a bit of a problem with Converse footwear. The preponderance of fabric and relative solelessness has them closer to socks than shoes for me. But I love this poem and feel a small but distinct shift in my perception of the baseball boot as a result of reading ikt.


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