November 1999

William F. Vanwert

Bill Vanwert William F. Vanwert is the author of several novels (Don Quickshot, What's It All About?, Stool Wives), books of poetry (Vital Signs, Proper Myth, The Invention of Ice Skating), film (The Film Career of Alain Robbe-Grillet, The Theory and Practice of the Cine-Roman), short stories (The Advancement of Ignorance, Missing in Action, Tales for Expectant Fathers), novella (The Discovery of Chocolate), chapbook (Hot Candy) and essay (Memory Links). He teaches film and creative writing at Temple University.

Survival of the Fittest    Click to hear in real audio

Darwin was the first to link
underwear with evolution:
the better-fitting survived,
reproduced, accommodated
the elements. First loincloth,
then short tunic or chiton,
Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, all
wore underwear designed to show
from under a toga. By way of
casual greeting, the Romans
often flashed each other.



Colors    Click to hear in real audio

1850. The dashing gentleman
wore colors just as much as clothes:
red flannel Emperor shirt,
heartsease embroidered blue cravat,
brown buff vest like French doors,
cutaway coat of brightest green
with carbuncle studs
for cutaway hands
and rings to fit
at least three fingers,
to shine, reflect, display, distract,
drawing all attention away
from clogged pores and dirty nails.



William F. Vanwert: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue NineThe Cortland Review