Christine Hume

Do's and Don'ts About Fur

Don't predict by patterning against fur.
Don't buy fur on credit or trade modern mathematics for it.
Don't smell anything while scissoring the shape of fur, lest you be absorbed into it.
Don't mark a center while playing dead and traced around.
Don't smock it; zigzag your fur in a refrigerated area so that it stands up as
          if standing up.
Don't think of glass or any figurines while running a row to give the sleeve a hand.
Don't follow conventions of obscure origin like singing as you cut a collar or anything
          involving salt.
In the case of bald spots, make a shirring near the waistline, pet frequently and
Don't whipstitch merkins into a furlike coat for it will follow an endless invisible seam in
          circles; or join pelts with a curved needle, don't do that. Don't beam from under           wigs or draw fur designs with your mouth open.
Don't kink the law of desiccation with cheap tricks of perfume.
Don't invite a friend to help with the back: cold is the body's first eye, use it swiftly.
Don't talk to your fur as if it were flora or fire.
Should hybridity be discovered, make a speech for the removal of romance in your
Don't edge the hide under the presser foot until it bites hard enough for you to see
           free-floating numbers.
If correctives make themselves necessary, remember most ill-formed icicles point                    toward a negative sublime in accordance with Chinese canons.
Don't hem in bed.
Don't hang a fur kindly.
Don't try on fur inside-out or walk backward into the room with it on; else you shall
          require red to satisfy your nervous system.
Don't carry unmarked boxes while wearing it.
If you forget, blame a shortcut.
Don't blame an inertial reference frame, just don't this time.
In your new coat, don't pretend to be a lone pine tree in the background either.
When stepping over, don't let oil puddles on asphalt look up your fur; even fakes                    reflect the iffy fortune of recognition.

Airport Smoking Room
In Plane View: A 12 Second Miracle Play by Thomas Merton


© 2002 Electronic Poetry Review