It’s not every week I get to pimp a poet on this page, but no poet relishes his food as much as Charles Simic does-check out his fine essay “Food and Happiness” as proof. U.S. Poet Laureate Simic will be reading from his work for free tonight, May 22, at 8 p.m. at UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Of course, good poems have mouth-feel as rich and intoxicating as any wine, so it’s little surprise an exquisite writer like Simic might come up with lines like, “Give me your tongue tasting of white beans and garlic / Sexy little assortment of formaggi and frutta! / I want to drown with you in red wine like a pear, / Then sleep in a macedoine of wild berries with cream.” Or a poem like “Crazy About Her Shrimp” that we can’t publish in a family newspaper, but trust me, it’ll leave you hungering for tasty words, hot love, and fine food all at once. Instead, here’s one of his quickies that will leave you thinking about one of the emblems of summer in a very new way:


Green Buddhas.

On the fruit stand.

We eat the smile

And spit out the teeth.


Charles Simic serves up his fine poetry at UCSB’s Campbell Hall, tonight, May 22, at 8 p.m. Free. Call 893-3535.


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