Charles Simic

Hotel Insomnia

I liked my little hole,

Its window facing a brick wall.

Next door there was a piano,

A few evenings a month

A crippled old man came to play

My Blue Heaven.”


Mostly, though, it was quiet.

Each room with its spider in heavy overcoat

Catching his fly with a web

Of cigarette smoke and revery.

So dark,

I could not see my face in the shaving mirror.


At 5 a.m. the sound of bare feet upstairs.

The “Gypsy” fortune teller,

Whose storefront is on the corner,

Going to pee after a night of love.

Once, too, the sound of a child sobbing.

So near it was, I thought,

For a moment, I was sobbing myself.

Charles Simic

 Charles  Simic

Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1938, Charles Simic has published twenty collections of poetry over the course of his career, most recently That Little Something (2008), My Noiseless Entourage (2005), and Selected Poems: 1963-2003 (2004).  In addition to poetry, Simic has published numerous translations and books of essays, and has edited several anthologies.
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