Charles Simic
Club Midnight

Are you the owner of a seedy night club?

 

Are you its sole customer, sole bartender,

Sole water prowling around the empty tables?

 

Do you put on wee-hour girlie shows

With dead stars of black and white films?

 

Is your office upstairs over the neon lights,

Or down deep in the dank rat cellar?

 

Are bearded Russian thinkers your silent partners?

Do you have a doorman by the name of Dostoyevsky?

 

Is Fu Manchu coming tonight?

Is Miss Emily Dickinson?

 

Do you happen to have an immortal soul?

Do you have a sneaky suspicion that you have none?

 

Is that why you throw a white pair of dice,

In the dark, long after the joint closes?

 
Found In Volume 25, No. 03
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Charles Simic
About the Author

Charles Simic’s work has won numerous awards, among them the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and, simultaneously, theWallace Stevens Award and appointment as U.S. Poet Laureate. He taught English and creative writing for over thirty years at the University of New Hampshire.