The Green Carnation
Fashion is currently pineapples
and sending people
home with home
made party favours. Fashion fades,
but also, fades are in.
My barber’s students want
to give each man on earth a killer
fade, to sort the men, to make men sort
of fade away. The pineapple plant’s
that hides poorly in the jungle corners
of Big Island, top-heavy,
the blackest sands. In Victorian England,
the gift of a pineapple
meant welcome, meant when
I say you may stay I
mean it, I’m not just being
Victorian about it. Fashion is currently
like the fox I homemade out of paper.
In Victorian England, foxshit
meant elevate your chickens.
It is more than okay
to shove air plants in the gaps
of your geometric shapes. Fashion is
air plants. Air plants
are creatures there is nothing
hidden about, known
to bloom, though I
cannot describe to you
their flower, nor can I describe to you
the flower of the pineapple.
Fashion has always been
flowers. If this were
Victorian England, I’d wear
a green carnation
to ask men if I could show them
my penis. Back then,
aristocrats placed parasols
between sun and skin.
Not sweating was the fashion. Brittle
and white as kingfisher chins,
women and men
summered in the cloudiest corners
of their little island. Four tons
of clay roses
summer in a lawn near my home,
indigenous into deaf
ears. I wanted to steal one,
a favour to myself, but
there was signage. A friend of mine
hates this installation—
the roses take up
space he prefers to take up
himself, summering in sunshine,
shimmering in short shorts,
making his skin copper, a colour
that asks men if they would like
to see his penis. This is a question
his body is excellent at.
This time last summer,
he and I ran across that same lawn
in pursuit of digital goblins it
was all the rage to catch.
The fashion subsided, boy
did it ever, but the programming
remains: in the grass and on the street
crouch those little code-ghosts
nobody wants and nobody sees.
You’d need to place, between
man and creature,
a screen. Even I
don’t want to talk about it,
so why do I write it
down? Today I want a simple life.
I want to be a florist,
talking with flowers
all summer, all breathy, or a dandy,
walking in the shade
with a tropical turtle whose shell
I’ve hammered jewels onto,
talking with flowers
and fashion and eyebrows to men
across the lawn, beyond the shade.