April 15, 2011


by Becky Peterson


Many things become unclear when you start talking about clogs
The difference between what’s practical and what’s fantastical

I am talking literally about clogs here, not representations of clogs, clogs as labor
or genitalia; the larger meaning of clogs and the purposes of clogs in fashion

When I go to Holland everyone is wearing cowboy boots
I learn that to wear clogs there is to evoke the farmer

A friend once told me clogs are not attractive to men
Though there could be a sea-change in special circumstances

What is ugliness anyway and being popular
I was born in the ‘70s in the face of utility

At times it seems like what is happening is this is a fantasy world
Where meaning lies in webbed shapes lying across the surface

Planks are there to prevent me from teetering off into the water
Clogs do the same--I mean, prevent water from coming in

Bio: Becky Peterson has published critical essays on the intersection of poetry and dress in Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literatures, Culture, and Theory, and in the forthcoming collection Habits of Being: Clothing and Identity (University of Minnesota Press), as well as an essay on film and fabric in Textile: A Journal of Cloth and Culture. Her poetry has appeared in POOL, The Indiana Review, 21 Stars Review, The Bedazzler, and Denver Syntax, and in the chapbook Metropolitan Bird Culture (Bigfan Press). She holds an MFA in poetry-writing from Mills College and a PhD in literature from the University of Minnesota.

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