Napoleon's hat is an obvious choice I guess to list as a famous hat, but that's not the hat I have in mind. That was his hat for show. I am thinking of his private bathing cap, which in all honesty wasn't much different than the one any jerk might buy at a corner drugstore now, except for two minor eccentricities. The first one isn't even funny: Simply it was a white rubber bathing cap, but too small. Napoleon led such a hectic life ever since his childhood, even farther back than that, that he never had a chance to buy a new bathing cap and still as a grown-up--well, he didn't really grow that much, but his head did: He was a pinhead at birth, and he used, until his death really, the same little tiny bathing cap that he was born in, and this meant that later it was very painful to him and gave him many headaches, as if he needed more. So, he had to vaseline his skull like crazy to even get the thing on. The second eccentricity was that it was a tricorn bathing cap. Scholars like to make a lot out of this, and it would be easy to do. My theory is simple-minded to be sure: that beneath his public head there was another head and it was a pyramid or something.
James Tate - 1943-2015
Success Comes to Cow Creek
I sit on the tracks, a hundred feet from earth, fifty from the water. Gerald is inching toward me as grim, slow, and determined as a season, because he has no trade and wants none. It's been nine months since I last listened to his fate, but I know what he will say: he's the fire hydrant of the underdog. When he reaches my point above the creek, he sits down without salutation, and spits profoundly out past the edge, and peeks for meaning in the ripple it brings. He scowls. He speaks: when you walk down any street you see nothing but coagulations of shit and vomit, and I'm sick of it. I suggest suicide; he prefers murder, and spits again for the sake of all the great devout losers. A conductor's horn concerto breaks the air, and we, two doomed pennies on the track, shove off and somersault like anesthetized fleas, ruffling the ideal locomotive poised on the water with our light, dry bodies. Gerald shouts terrifically as he sails downstream like a young man with a destination. I swim toward shore as fast as my boots will allow; as always, neglecting to drown.