words don’t say much and hardly
ever enough enough of the time.
corner of your head sharp like a
homburg, sharp like it’s just easier to
find the notes. is you is or is you
aint? all hats off. hat off its tip. tip
top hat. a little tip of the hat. all cap
and action, what a composition. felt
hat versus the cops’ batons, who
you think won that one? good guy
wearing a black hat out till it
shimmy. derby spinning in
semicircles spinning. porkpie hat’s
angry drunk. hat as hopefully not
too much dark hope cooking in a
spoon. bebop cap. curated bowler
having a nervous breakdown. a
bowler full of many minds about
decorating space and time. at
lucretia’s last rent party, get that guy off
the ceiling all in stride and pass the
hat. a solo bristled with colorful
notions under his stetson. hat
trick. therapeutic fez for your tb.
fez like an interlude for gladiolus
went against time. taciturn hat.
keep it under your kufi. that hat is
a cat all the way around. a temple
of fedoras. mad hat. high high
hats. the long american songbook
beneath the kangol. got a fez and
no head. got a mother that’s the
pearl of harlem always coming to
see me. if i’m jesus, and art is god,
who is he?
makalani bandele has received fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council, Cave Canem, Vermont Studio Center, and Millay Colony for the Arts. His work has been published in several anthologies, and in many in-print and online literary journals. He is the author of one book of poems, hellfightin’. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.