This collection of poems from Charles Simic demonstrates once again his wit, moral acuity, and brilliant use of imagery. His settings are a farmhouse porch, a used-clothing store, empty station platforms; his subjects love, futility, and the sense of an individual life lived among a crowd of literal and imaginary presences.
Both sharp and sympathetic, the poems of this collection confirm Simic's place as one of the most important and appealing poets of our time.
I'm still living at all the old addresses,
Wearing dark glasses even indoors,
On the hush-hush sharing my bed
With phantoms, visiting in the kitchen
After midnight to check the faucet.
I'm late for school, and when I get there
No one seems to recognize me.
I sit disowned, sequestered and withdrawn.
These small shops open only at night
Where I make my unobtrusive purchases,
These back-door movie houses in seedy neighborhoods
Still showing grainy films of my life,
The hero always full of extravagant hope
Losing it all in the end?-whatever it was-
Then walking out into the cold, disbelieving light
Waiting close-lipped at the exit.