Issue 001

We can't decide in five minutes. Supposin' we're wrong / Page 2

The White Suit

Author: Nathan Jones
Illustrator: Scott Spencer
We spot them first,
them who care most in the room –
the butcher, the baker, the man from Delmonte.
That man is wearing a white suit, we say.

Her face kindled while her hands
turned and flickered,
and we quietly bent our ears
so her brightness may better pass through.

Tom Wolf has said of the white suit, that
it made him a Martian in whom
all wished to confess; though I think perhaps
we should stop awhile and listen
to what he has to say of Mars
before we rush him to the champagne fountain,
telling of our precocious cousins
and their bee-like children.

Anyway, It is a bad place to begin
with the white suit.

Let us know the monk's fawn cassock,
radiant as though white linen, that day
he comes through the chapel for lunch
more deeply caring than the others.

Who is the father of who now, he appears to say,
monk to monk, and wonders secretly to himself,
such is the rage of his devotion
to the mouse nesting in his hair shirt.
His balls seem more free.

That man is wearing a white suit.
He is no Martian.

The white suit makes the man more man
with its surface appearance of rarity,
as the snowfall makes the tree of that day more tree,
and the tree that is the last to be found
wearing the snow, the truest tree of all.

The hostess so much more of a woman
we long for her to remove her slip,
for we know she will be the final lady
to become naked and vulnerable that night,
and all the more desirable for it.

I would like to listen to her, too, and see her cry.
She is wearing a white suit.

Let us go then,
shielding our eyes at first,
down these white corridors of athletic simplicity
that have sprung up to give hope
overlaying the terrible pipework.

Here, the swimming pool
looks clean as an ice-cube,
here The Guggenheim – far away in New York,
but in front of us still – has something that feels protective,
and retains the grace of a ribbon falling to earth
one afternoon in March.

I do not know
if I could wear a white suit on such an afternoon.

This is the white suit's infernal conundrum:
why must it carry a flash of head?

In one moment, that zed pops up from the collar:

Must I turn away and rehearse again
the precessions of love,
chewing my hat-brim or ruin my suit?

All is transformed.

Care consumes the investor who has thrown
himself from the new-build overlooking
the razor-ridden sea. The vision
leaves him pale as the cloud
that has given the rainbow to the heavens.

That man is wearing a suit
whose colour has been removed,
and it will not save him.

Now, a black tear grows in the eye
of a delighted woman as she asks,
that vast network of fields in a blizzard
of flesh and blouse, For me?
How did you affordee?

O, if you could disappear into your own sleeves
awhile and wait for her to vanish.

Your white suit has fooled her, and the way
you dropped to your knee has
and certain things you said
have also fooled her.

But you can not love her.
No matter how much of a fool she becomes.

We are drawn ever closer to revealing our heart:
the nose of the dog buried
in the roof's sudden slump of snow.

The plane that zips the sky that has fallen open
and is gaping, will soon be gone.

Reborn as a veil falling before a stained glass window,
a beach-side hotel that recalls Bauhuas,
skimming inside the plump deserts and stampedes of sea.

She is wearing a white suit
and has hung herself from the effigy of Christ.

Many more buildings will follow,
and only then will we understand the meaning
of the word resort.
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