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Tag Archives: shoes

found poem: Did shoes dream?

found poem: Since Elvis

bad feet…

Dorothy in saddle shoes, 1947At the children’s shoe store in Westwood Village, laced into a new pair of shoes, I stepped onto the fluoroscope, leaned toward the eyepiece and peered down at my phalanges and metatarsals within the stitched outline of the shoes. All of us had our feet irradiated then. If I asked and no one was waiting, the salesman would let me step onto the machine barefoot. It was fun to see your bones.

Distressing as it is in retrospect, the upshot was that I wore saddle shoes. That my mother also favored saddle shoes did not make them more appealing to me. They were stiff and heavy and, as I saw it, obliterated any lingering possibility that I would ever be pretty or popular.

Sadly, neither the fluoroscope nor the sensible shoes prevented me from having bad feet. Nor, even if I kept them polished to a gloss, did they make my mother like me any better.
. . . . .
photo: my mother in saddle shoes, 1947

your feet…



the shoes…

black shoesDouglas could not recall shopping for shoes. The shoes had lived at the foot of his bed for as long as he could remember, the two identical pairs side by side, black oxfords, polished to a deep gloss. He supposed his mother must have bought them, must have measured his foot with a glance, replaced each pair when it became hopelessly worn and would no longer take a shine. He always knew which ones to wear, the pair on the left reserved for the holy days.

A man needed only two pairs of shoes. His mother had been firm on this subject and many others. A man must not be concerned with haberdashery, she would say, using that curious word.

But today, as Douglas looked at the two pairs of shoes, even he could see that something was wrong. One shoe was lying on its side, bits of grass stuck to the sole, the toe of its mate crusted with mud. He stood confused at the foot of his bed, looking down, and then over at the door of his bedroom, which stood open as it had last night and every other night of his 33 years…
black shoes

trying to write…


Horseshoe ~ before

Horseshoe ~ during

Horseshoe © j.i. kleinberg
Horseshoe © j.i. kleinberg 2011
second-hand shoe, thrift-store horses, fabric paint
created for the annual Stilettos on Parade at 12th Street Shoes, Bellingham, Washington
Postscript: Horseshoe tied for ‘People’s Choice’ award with Fairy by 2-year-old Kayleigh Finnegan.

fragments…Martin ~ 2

Martin examined the contents of the closet. Fibber McGee lives on, he thought. Ski poles, a baseball bat, umbrellas and a couple of large cardboard tubes leaned in one corner. Two enormous down jackets looked like they were holding their breath. The rest of the space was a crush of raincoats, wool and denim jackets, Lynette’s grandmother’s beaded dress and a red windbreaker someone had left at their house. Tablecloths and a patchwork quilt were folded over hangers, wrapped in plastic as they had come from the dry cleaner.

The floor was covered with shoes, two of Lynette’s purses that had fallen from the shelf, the vacuum’s various awkward parts, and a large paper grocery sack that turned out to contain an elaborate bird feeder and a five-pound bag of bird seed. Martin shook his head and wondered what he was doing in the closet. Oh yeah, the vacuum cleaner.

He walked to the hall phone and dialed Lynette’s office number.
“Good morning, this is Lynette,” she answered.
“Hey, Lynnie, it’s me. How’s it going?”
“Hey, Mar,” she said.
“So I was thinking about vacuuming and I got sucked up in the vortex of the hall closet…”
“Sort of like Dorothy and Toto?”
“Yeah, something like that. So while I was caught in the storm I had this idea: what if we moved the junk we never use out of the closet and put a shoe rack in there for you? Just move your shoes out of the bedroom completely.”
“Oh my god, Marty, you’re a genius.”
“Yeah, but you knew that. That’s why you asked me to dance.”
“That and the green shoes. How could I resist?”
“Okay, get back to work and we’ll talk about the closet when you get home.”
“Love you, Mar.”
“Love you too, Lynnie.”

fragments…Martin ~ 1

Too many shoes, Martin grumbled as he poked among the debris on the closet floor in search of the vacuum attachment. How had all these shoes come to reside in the front closet anyway? Martin pictured them nosing out of Lynette’s bedroom closet, making sure the coast was clear, and then walking, in pairs, heel-toe, down the long hall.

He lifted a knitted scarf from the floor. It was clotted with dust. He draped it over the doorknob where, maybe, he or Lynette would notice it and take it outside for a good shaking. The shoes were piled in a heap on top of one another, hiking boots and high heels, wood-soled clogs and dog-faced bedroom slippers with floppy ears.

The first thing that Lynette did when she walked in the front door was to shuck off her shoes, right in the entry hall. One time she had stumbled over a shoe on her way to check the mail, and after that she began to give them a little kick over to the wall, out of the way, or into the closet. She padded around the house barefoot, or in her socks or stockings, quiet and content without the shoes, which would pile up and pile up until one day she’d gather them in her arms and return them to the bedroom, where they’d start their migration once again…

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