Sitting Pretty

Charles Simic Lit literatureMy husband has to travel for work fairly often, and I am lucky enough that I usually get to tag along. When I accompany him on his trips, I know I will end up being a co-pilot of sorts, which I actually enjoy. This means I won’t be lounging in a coffee shop with a book all day, so I have to plan my reading accordingly.

On these types of trips, I try to travel with two books: a novel that promises to be highly entertaining and will be easy to pick up in bursts during the day and a book of poetry with short poems that will keep me company during various waits.

Right now we are in Arizona, where it’s 70 degrees and sunny every day. My travel companions are Edith Wharton (via her House of Mirth) and Charles Simic (via his compilation Sixty Poems). Above is a poem from Simic’s 1999 book Jackstraws, which I read over and over yesterday.  I just love how it quickly pulls you in, so you feel like you are looking at the narrator eye-to-eye, and then it puts you right back in a public, shared space.

Here it is written out:

The wooden toy sitting pretty.


No, quieter than that.


Like the sound of eyebrows

Raised by a villain

In a silent movie.


Psst, someone said behind my back.


Read Scottsdale, 2014

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