The madman finds himself
among fabrics. He walks
with one hand out, running it over
corduroys, denims, twills;
running it over crushed velvets,
satins, silks. He is about
to become a problem.
He is almost ready to be a crisis
if he doesn’t leave here right this second.
He’s the kind who blows up from time to time
and all this touching of the changing textures
is setting his trigger. It’s too much,
he tells himself. It’s all too much
and simpler is better and clothing is
optional. It’s all flammable and vain
and who still makes their own clothes?
God, I am a consumer not a producer;
God, I am a flame and not a torch.
And so he kneels in the middle of the store
with a lighter, baffled by the choices before him:
should I light the tulle, the organdy, the glittering
green Spandex? How I do rebel against all this
when I don’t know what to burn first?
The madman is not going to burn down the store
this time. He’s tackled, driven to the ground.
brought down screaming at how it is all too much
and too much to feel and choices and blah, blah,
blah like it is every time we hear it from one of these
who find being American so damn hard.