A few things about Charles Simic and me: 1) his book, "Walking the Black Cat: Poems" was one of the first contemporary collection I bought myself. I'm not sure if I really read it; I more absorbed it by osmosis. 2) I admire his prolific nature, which is something I do myself. It seems like he's always publishing a new collection. 3) He's one of the Poet Laureates I've met in person, and was the one who didn't ask if I was a poet/encourage me. I think that was very honest and true on his part -- too many poets anyway. 4) His style -- the dark surrealism, short poems, the basic sounds -- have had a huge influence on me. His models have shown me what's possible in my particular niche. Enjoy the following poem!
Pre-order The Art of Dissolving
by Charles Simic
In my great grandmother's time,
All one needed was a broom
To get to see places
And give the geese a chase in the sky.
The stars know everything,
So we try to read their minds.
As distant as they are,
We choose to whisper in their presence.
Take a clock that has lost its hands
For a ride.
Get me a room at Hotel Eternity
Where Time likes to stop now and then.
Come, lovers of dark corners,
The sky says,
And sit in one of my dark corners.
There are tasty little zeroes
In the peanut dish tonight.
Source: Poetry (October 2002).