Why Men's Judgements of New Clothes Shouldn't Be Trusted by Simon Williams

I join four men outside the fitting room,
while women try on size 14
with 16 in reserve.

We’re trying to look in place and failing.
It’s important not to let your eyes settle
on any racked garment for over 30 seconds

or any racked customer for over five.
This is especially true if the fitting room
in anywhere near lingerie.

Nobody is interested in our slight discomfort;
five expressionless faces keen to compress
time, urgent to breathe less material air.

People want to read Big Thoughts
on how we were misused as boys,
how we were louts on bikes.

But it has come to this; such a longing
for a brief appearance from the cubicle,
a show-off of prospective wear

that all clothes look wonderful on you.

---

Simon Williams has eight published collections, his latest being a co-authored pamphlet with Susan Taylor, The Weather House, published in 2017 by Indigo Dreams. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013, founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet and produced the well-received PLAY Anthology. He has recently created the science poetry show, Cosmic Latte.

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