Jim Gilpin's Tale From The Grave, poem by Stuart A. Paterson at Spillwords.com
Brett Jordan

Jim Gilpin’s Tale From The Grave

Jim Gilpin’s Tale From The Grave

written by: Stuart A. Paterson



This was the hat in which he stored‬‬‬
‪his head, his genius, ‬‬‬
‪the images he’d made of what ‬‬‬
‪he’d seen of us,‬‬‬
‪each note and chord there‬‬‬
‪beneath the hat he wore ‬‬‬
‪on the head that wore the crown.‬‬‬

‪This was the hat he gave ‬‬‬
‪to me outside Earl’s Court,‬‬‬
‪silently removed and offered it‬‬‬
‪as gift in a sad ritual of exchange, ‬‬‬that hat he wore‬‬‬ ‪on the cover of Desire.‬‬‬

‪When I asked if I could have it ‬‬‬
‪off it came, no hesitation, ‬‬‬
‪no showboating smile or grandiose‬‬‬
‪gesture just gave it over, ‬‬‬
‪wordless, unrushed, in the breezeless summer of ‘ 78.‬‬‬

This was the hat that held in place ‬‬‬
‪the crazy plate which span out‬‬‬
‪lines and filaments and memory ‬‬‬
‪and tribute to the love‬‬‬
‪when he’d stayed up for days‬‬‬
‪in the Chelsea Hotel ‬‬‬
‪writing Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands ‬‬‬for her. ‬‬‬

‪’This one’s for you Sarah’, ‬‬‬
‪he said right after laying down the track,‬‬‬
‪’and this one’s for you Jim Gilpin‬‬‬’
‪his eyes said after handing over‬‬‬
‪the hat he wore, ‬‬‬
‪the hat in which he stored himself ‬‬‬
‪each line a thread‬‬‬
‪unravelling beautifully‬‬
‪from his universal head.‬‬‬

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