My poetry changed for the better when I first read Charles Simic a few months ago. It’s refreshing to read someone who does not rely upon longwinded sermons or bask in grandiose language. He is simple, yet compelling. He is not afraid to be. This poem is one of my most “Simic-esque” pieces. I’ve revised it a bit since its publication at the link below. It also contains one of my favorite lines I’ve ever written.
The Other Side of Town
It’s 1 a.m. in September.
Three witches walk towards me
Down Artesia Boulevard
Armed with eyebrows like
My father’s temper.
I fear witches more than heights,
Clowns, and spiteful waiters.
And they’re a month early.
I’ll tell them it was an accident;
I simply forgot to wash the dishes.
And I pulled out all the whiskers of
The black cat in the alley
Because he bragged of his many lives.
My father had one.
Death and poetry
Are related in life.
Bloodlines of realism so exaggerated,
It makes sense.
I decide to cut across the street,
Pushing too real reveries
To the side,
Like horrid vegetables.