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Posts Tagged ‘Italian button’


One of the first signs of spring is a lone pale pink petal from a flowering pear tree fluttering on the grey, gritty rain-moistened sidewalk. One delicate petal reminds me of that soon trees will shower their petals into softly blowing pink piles. I am happily strolling in a spring drizzle, my rubber spats tightly snapped, my tweed Inverness overcoat with Italian chocolate brown plastic buttons flapping in the wind, and Hart Crane running through my head.
“High in the noon of May
On cornices of daffodils
The slender violets stray.
Crap-shooting gangs in Bleecker reign,
Peonies with pony manes——
Forget-me-nots at windowpanes:
Out of the way-up nickel-dime tower shine,
Cathedral Mary,
shine!——“

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I am packing a wee snack in my vintage wicker hamper to eat in Golden Gate Park. There is an accordion-led gypsy band playing near the Arboretum, and I am meeting you by the largest oak tree; I want to stare at clouds, be tickled by new grass and smell spring wind its flowery way into my heart. I toss in three folded pieces of lavash, a hunk of salty Bulgarian feta cheese, a handful fresh mint leaves, a thermos of hot sweet tea, and three kinds of nut cookies…walnut and date, chocolate and pecan, and peppered hazelnut cookies. I throw on my leaf green and violet stripped velveteen jacket with Italian wagon wheel buttons, grab a book of poetry and catch the bus to the park.
Just a perfect day
Drink sangria in the park
And then later, when it gets dark, we’ll go home
Just a perfect day
Problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
It’s such fun
Just a perfect day
You make me forget myself
I thought I was someone else
Someone good”

(By L. Reed)

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Today it is all about the tootsies! I’ve been on a wild stripped sock binge, greedily seeking hose with wide lines, pinstripe lines, vertical lines, lightening fast zig-zag lines, sporty horizontal lines, and more. I’m currently wearing chocolate brown and leaf green socks with multi-width stripes, coupled with short deep brown alligator skin boots with domed bronze metal button fasteners. I’m admiring my dapper choice in footwear, feeling like a debonair rake with a faint touch of French clown. The cats agree, and are eying my buttons with tail-twitching fascination. It is another day of soulful pre-spring dash-titude!
“Now if there’s a smile on my face
It’s only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that’s quite a different subject
But don’t let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I’m sad, oh I’m sadder than sad
You’re gone and I’m hurtin’ so bad
Like a clown I pretend to be glad
Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
The tears of a clown, when there’s no one around”

(By Motown genius, Smokey Robinson)

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Last night there was a total lunar eclipse, with the moon shining silver, and then amber. I awoke from the winter solstice in the mood to tap-dance around public squares. I imagine gently clicking out a tune with my feet against large pottery planters and along low wall-tops. I’m getting ready to go out dancing; I’m listening to Let’s Misbehave, have tacked bright copper pennies to the worn soles of my brogues, and am dressing for sartorial success in a midnight blue velveteen three piece wide-labeled suit adorned with a dozen Italian bronze buttons, a jaunty wide mustard, deep blue, and Kelly green stripped bow tie, a white starched shirt, a Kelly green and mustard hounds-tooth fedora, and Kelly green socks.
“If you want a future, darlin’,
Why don’t you get a past?
‘Cause that fateful moment’s comin’ at last…
We’re all alone, no chaperon
Can get our number
The world’s in slumber–let’s misbehave!!!
They say that bears have love affairs
And even camels
We’re men and mammals–let’s misbehave!!!”

(By the illustrious Monsieur Cole Porter)

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I am staying in the romantically disheveled pensionne that Ms. Natalie Barney is rumored to have stayed at while pining away for one of her loves. As I bed down between the delightfully squishy down comforter and the worn starched linens, there comes a faint knock at my door. It is the concierge holding a tarnished silver serving tray upon which perches a telegram blessed with a single word, “Yes”. I wonder for a minute if you have been channeling Caresse and Harry Crosby, and toss the telegram aside in bafflement. Fastening the wagon-wheel antique gold rhinestone buttons on my quilted rust silk dressing gown, I order a plate of roasted plum and muscavado sugar cakes and a squat pot of rich black tea. In my opinion, tea and cake assuages many cares.
Blue Champagne – purple shadows and Blue Champagne,
With the echoes that still remain I keep a blue rendezvous.
Bubbles rise like a fountain before my eyes
And they suddenly crystallize to form a vision of you.”

(By G. Watts and F. Ryerson)

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It is midnight, and I am happily awake with Lulu and Francy. Rain is pouring down; I can hear cars splashing by beneath my apartment window and see the reflections of their headlights cutting through the inky night and the storm. I am fashioning bicycle handlebar tassels for my compagnon spécial, and to this crafty end, I am re-purposing discarded and hole-ridden inner tubes. I’m wearing my favorite vintage cardigan, the one with the sky blue suede front panels, matching elbow patches, and square brown leather buttons. Pet Clark is wailing “Downtown” on the stereo and I have a pile of fancy-schmancy salted brown buttery rice crispy treats by my elbow.
“When you’re alone
And life is making you lonely,
You can always go downtown
When you’ve got worries,
All the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know, downtown”

(By T. Hatch)

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I am sentimental, and so I wistfully remember the afternoon that we went boating in Hampstead Heath Park on Leg of Mutton Pond. The dark pond gleamed, tree branches drifted lazily over the shore, and water-bugs skated across the water’s surface. You wore your dark navy 13-button sailor pants with four-hole, silver metal buttons, a black heavy cable knit sweater, and low black boots. I had a lemon cake, rich with lemons, rum and berries, packed in a gold bakery box and tied with a violet and leaf green striped ribbon. I fed you cake as you industriously rowed and sang sailor shanties, the pond water making a soft noise as the oars cut through its surface.
“A is the anchor that holds a bold ship,
B is the bowsprit that often does dip,
C is the capstan on which we do wind, and
D is the davits on which the jolly boat hangs.
Oh, hi derry, hey derry, ho derry down,
Give sailors their grog and there’s nothing goes wrong,
So merry, so merry, so merry are we,
No matter who’s laughing at sailors at sea.”

(Anonymous, traditional sailor shanty)

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