The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Jim Gormley of the English Department. Enjoy!
My Father’s Hats
Sunday mornings I would reach high into his dark closet while standing on a chair and tiptoeing reach higher, touching, sometimes fumbling the soft crowns and imagine I was in a forest, wind hymning through pines, where the musky scent of rain clinging to damp earth was his scent I loved, lingering on bands, leather, and on the inner silk crowns where I would smell his hair and almost think I was being held, or climbing a tree, touching the yellow fruit, leaves whose scent was that of clove in the godsome air, as now, thinking of his fabulous sleep, I stand on this canyon floor and watch light slowly close on water I can't be sure is there.
Mark Irwin is the author of nine collections of poetry, which include A Passion According to Green (2017), American Urn: Selected Poems (1987-2014), Large White House Speaking (2013), Tall If (2008), Bright Hunger(2004), White City (2000), Quick, Now, Always (1996), and Against the Meanwhile: Three Elegies (1988). He has also translated Philippe Denis’s Notebook of Shadows and Nichita Stanescu’s Ask the Circle to Forgive You: Selected Poems. His collection of essays, Monster: Distortion, Abstraction, and Originality in Contemporary American Poetry, is forthcoming in 2017. His poetry and essays have appeared in many literary magazines including American Poetry Review, Agni Review, the Atlantic Monthly, Georgia Review, the Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Pleiades, Poetry magazine, the Nation, New England Review, New American Writing, the New Republic, and the Southern Review. Recognition for his work includes The Nation/Discovery Award, four Pushcart Prizes, two Colorado Book Awards, the James Wright Poetry Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright, Lilly, and Wurlitzer Foundations. He is an associate professor in the PhD in Creative Writing & Literature Program at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles and Colorado.