Recently saw poet John Surowiecki give a lecture and read at the University of Bridgeport. Afterwards I read his book, "The Hat City After Men Stopped Wearing Hats" and was suitably impressed. What a poet needs, I think, is a control of language, a different way of looking at things, and endless persistent variation. Surowiecki definitely has that. Yet another of Connecticut's cultural greats. Keep up the good work, John.
The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats
At the inauguration no one wore hats, not even
the poet whose hair the wind shaped into a fin.
We sat at the kitchen table trying to figure out
how we would make a living now that the river
no longer flowed carrot-orange to the Sound.
We used to tell the children that its fish wore
fedoras and suffered from mercury shakes,
twitching, lurching, losing scales as we would hair.
Every street used to be a river of hats and when
a war was won a sea of hats would suddenly appear.
Every day we’d walk to work leaning into the wind,
hands on our hats, and never once did we think
the factory doors would close and never once
did we notice the frost late on the lawns
like an interlude in a slaughtering of moths.