uptown babies don’t cry


uncollated notes:
expensive workout pants
this poem is about desire
do i have any protective ghost shirts

“straight up talking about the fabric i put over my navel to prevent myself from gazing at it”

just now i put on a clean t-shirt which is something that i do every day, and is a telltale sign that i am dragging myself into the world. i recently did a pretty heartless cull of my t-shirt drawer and threw out many tattered numbers that had seen me through some real days. maybe the signature moment here was throwing out the Los Angeles Kings NHL licensed apparel t-shirt that i bought at a village thrift in chicago, across the street from a cemetery and a leather bar. it was a fine shirt, it covered my torso when asked. i usually wore it inside out, because why not and also because it had a spatter of bleach stains across the chest from cleaning the bathroom at a liquor store i worked at in 2005, way before any of the current realities of my life expressed themselves legibly. anyway i wanted to keep that shirt forever, but it was curling up on itself on the edges and i never actually wore it, i just liked being reminded of the life that did wear it. so i threw it out, it’s either en route to a staten island landfill or maybe a ragpicker grabbed it or whatever. but if there is a shirt heaven that particular shirt should go there.

but so anyway to continue with my original point, i put on a shirt today, one of the few shirts i have left with more seniority than the recently deceased LA kings shirt. it is a tattered university of chicago t-shirt purchased at the bookstore of the university of chicago in 2004. i always wear it inside out because i don’t like shirts with logos or brands on them. i did laundry recently and i put on the u of c t-shirt straight out of the laundry bag. i felt this majorly stupid feeling of guilt that i was pressing this old t-shirt back into service right away, just hours after his ordeal of being tumbled around and agitator in a dryer at the laundromat. then i had a second feeling which was, the shirt is a loose assemblage of threads, it doesn’t have feelings and it is eventually going to disintegrate, and that seemed OK if a bit heartless somehow. and then i had a third feeling which was, i am also a loose assemblage of threads, and i too will disintegrate eventually, and i am pretty OK with it. the shirt and i are going to do it up real big today and then i’ll wear one of his buddies and we will all march down the road of life together. if there is a person heaven, i hope i can bring these shirts with me. anyway heaven will probably be made of one’s memories anyway so if i’m ruled eligible i guess i can rest easy at least about having t-shirts. although as i think through this whole exercise i am not 100% sure that i would even need clothing in heaven.

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