Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Love Song of J. Alfred New Frock

I would love a new frock. From Marni. MAYBE FOR MY WEDDING!?!? Is that joke getting old?

Ooooh-kay! Can we get a close-up on the - dare I even call it a - necklace? Roger.

Perfection. Those sunglasses, those colors, that green! I'm gushing, I know. I'll stop....soon.

I love the neutral colors, the textures, the shapes! Eeeee! Everything! Let's get some close-ups of the footwear, people, cause Marni does not disappoint in that departmento, far from it.

I am smitten, yes, in deep smit, with taupey-grey snakeskin.


I know it's cruel of me to do this, but now that I've pulled you into this post using my secret weapon Marni, I want to have a quick vocab lesson.
Only two words, calm down! was kind enough to offer us "official" definitions.


satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune


the spirit of the time

What do these two words have to do with this post, you ask? Well, it's a bit difficult to say it succinctly, but I'll try. I confess I felt a substantial amount of shadenfreude when I refused to stay at my job longer than the (what I feel is ALREADY a great courtesy on my part) standard 2 weeks. I am leaving this job, people, and I am leaving it with my dignity intact. That's all.
Zeitgeist will come later, and all I will say at this point is I feel it's very important to constantly be aware of what the spirit of our times is, don't you?
On a less existential note, those Germans have really mastered the art of wordcrafting, haven't they?

Reiss | Button's up!

I am so jealous of everyone living in the UK. So what if we've got Anthropologie? That's ALL we've got. They have MILLIONS of adorable little European stores that just refuse to ship to the US. Two that I love:

Reiss via Lola Is Beauty.

NB: those are silver snakeskin embossed sneakers.

Button's Up! doesn't appear to have a website but you can shop the collection on antipodium.

For the home

design sponge did a post today about these chairs. When I went to check them out at emu, I saw the below awesome picture by Tom Vack. And since we're talking about how much the UK rocks, I thought it was apropos:

Keeping the UK love comin' strong, check out this cute lil' light by UK-based Lush:

back to zeit

Now about zeitgeist. I am going to post "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot IN ITS ENTIRETY, so if you're not into that, you're free to go. BUT - I wouldn't be posting it if I didn't think it was very important. If I didn't think it tackled the ambiance of a certain zeitgeist masterfully.

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


Why did I include this poem people? For many reasons:
I feel like I've been going through my share of revisions and indecisions lately.
I feel like I have felt the moment of my greatness flicker.
I ALSO feel like I DO dare disturb the universe.
And I DO have the strength to force the moment to its crisis.
And isn't nice to know there are others who obsess about the question, the peach and the troublesome action of descending stairs?
That there is something called a "coffee spoon?" (Take that, tea.)

I have had my share of "that isn't what I meant at all" (hardly surprising considering how intelligent and complex I am...ha), but I have also experienced the exact opposite - empathy in the truest sense of the word (if there is at least one person out there thinking of Audrey in Funny Face and "empathicalism", then my point is proven).

And what a cadence. T.S. ELiot is master of the music, the rhythym of poetry.
What is this "overwhelming question?" Well, that's the question, isn't it? Never mind, that's confusing.
Maybe the question is: When human voices wake you, will you drown?


Elzbieta said...

I liked the most the beginning because it relates to my and your uncle indecisions about 1 night cheep motels and places in Italy. All the rest scratches my heart drawing blood ; I have been through these torments and blessings long enough. I love your positive approach. You can do it!

Sanjay Kewlani said...


I long for my moment of schadenfreude. I'm happy that you got yours.