Treasure Island

Charles Simic

(9 May 1938)

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" fortuneteller,
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.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about this poem (Hotel Insomnia by Charles Simic )

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  • M M (11/14/2007 11:09:00 AM)

    Enjambment? May be...
    It lacks both rhyme and reason.
    It is a lesson..
    In what is knot poetry..
    Crude strings of *sob* imagery

    (speed tanka time: just a second) (Report) Reply

  • Tired of Being Exploited (5/3/2007 11:42:00 AM)

    So near it was, I thought
    For a moment, I was sobbing myself.

    These lines are such an impeccable example of the true power of enjambment.
    Many facets can be seen in just one phrase. Fantastic! (Report) Reply

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