Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sinatra's Hat



by Barbara Etlin

Never thought much of
Old Blue Eyes.
To me he was always
just a second-rate Rat Packer.

So I was surprised to find him last night
standing in the living room
of the house where I was a child.

I was wearing my straw fedora
as I always do, for sun protection.
He wore one, too,
and Frank Sinatra said to me,

"Nothing looks stupider
than a hat worn inside."

I said that
Bogie always looked good in his,
indoors or outdoors.

Then Frankie
(he was Frankie to me by then)
told me about the time
he borrowed Bogie's new black Jaguar
and wrecked it
when he drove it
off the cliff into Topanga Canyon.

When I woke
I remembered
that I needed to buy
some rat poison.

Copyright, Barbara Etlin, 2018, all rights reserved


  1. Oh my. Love this.
    The associative stream
    is just like a dream.
    Though I do wonder,
    if Frank was "second rate rat"
    who of that pack
    would be first rate,
    at least in a dream?

    1. I like your poetical comment, Mirka! The answer is Bogie, of course!

      Bogie and several friends went to Las Vegas in 1955 to watch Noel Coward's show. After they had been drinking a while, Lauren Bacall looked at the disheveled group and announced, "You look like a rat pack!" Bogie was the unofficial leader of the Rat Pack; his title was Rat in Charge of Public Relations. Other members were: Sinatra, Nathaniel Benchley, Lauren Bacall (Den Mother), Judy Garland, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, and several other celebrities. The idea was to hang around together and have fun. They had a logo and a motto.

      After Bogie died in 1957, so did the Rat Pack. Until Old Blue Eyes decided to have his own...


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