Joanne Kyger

(19 November 1934)

Philip Whalen's Hat - Poem by Joanne Kyger

I woke up about 2:30 this morning and thought about Philip's
hat.
It is bright lemon yellow, with a little brim
all the way around, and a lime green hat band, printed
with tropical plants.
It sits on top
of his shaved head. It upstages every thing & every body.
He bought it at Walgreen's himself.
I mean it fortunately wasn't a gift from an admirer.
Otherwise he is dressed in soft blues. And in his hands
a long wooden string of Buddhist Rosary beads, which he keeps
moving. I ask him which mantra he is doing - but he tells me
in Zen, you don't have to bother with any of that.
You can just play with the beads.



from Just Space: poems, 1979-1989 (Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1991)

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012



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