I have been wearing my cap for about ten years.
Call it a cap instead of a hat
because I worked at an embroidery shop when i got it.
Worked for a man named Bill.
Seventy something, fourth in a line of crackers proper.
Bill knew that cordage, knots, and their know how
stemmed back to the original days of the noble guilds.
Knowing the correct phrasing was important to him.
Thread instead of string and so on.
It was a low paying gig
but my interest in any kind of "straight" life was even lower.
Worked there a few months, throwing thread
with some of the more lively of the local ladies.
Made designs in my off time
and ordered garments through our wholesalers.
Plucked one of a dozen black knit caps that I bought
and tossed it on top of my natty crown.
After a few weeks in my youthful,
new mountaintop every morning living,
the cap became a part of me quicker than a shower.
In my mid-twenties
and not afraid of the magick of a peacock strutting,
I wrapped two silver semi spirals into the brim along the front right side.
Under the precious metal was a few of my choice minerals:
a gnarly cut piece of prehnite;
greatest of light green gemmy-ness,
a neat little shard of moldavite;
important to a space station stowaway like me,
and a tiny polished cab of opal; hella fire,
mined by one of my oldest homies out in Oregon.
Over the years I have lost the prehnite,
replaced some of the gaps with a variety of transient crystals,
rewrapped slightly in spots
and just battened down the hatches
best that this Ahab could muster.
A decade of running hard towards, and away from life;
with one arm raised up to constantly clench a cap
and occasionally tilt it ever so slightly askew;
when those poetic moments encompass with confidence
and a man is feeling his own flavor,
was captured by sweat
and made malleable the fabric, evolving its knit.
After all these years my cap fits like a prosthetic limb
too organic for the plasticity implied with that term.
More of me than my signature,
my balance was truly off when I wasn't wearing it.
Few months back I hacked off about two feet of hair,
probably for the third time in the life of my cap.
Have restitched the thing numerous times
to account for whatever size was the mass I tied up
and tucked in underneath it.
This time it looks tired, but sublimely well respected.
Haven't the innovation in me to give her another go.
Still sits in a particularly smooth way
but I do not need to drape reality in such weight
as I once did.
It's on my desk, never too far from reach.
Certain times; like when the summers moon
calls on the transcendent animation of character,
I will arrive in proper attire.